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10:14 19 January
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Spanish court orders detention of 8 former Catalan ministers


Spain's high court has ordered eight former ministers from Catalonia's dissolved government be detained without bail, as prosecutors sought a Europe-wide arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, APA reports quoting CNN.

 

Nine ex-ministers turned up to the high court Thursday after being summoned, while Puigdemont and four other ministers failed to show up and are believed to be in the Belgian capital, Brussels.


The ninth minister was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000).


The high court, known as the the Audiencia Nacional, had ordered Puigdemont and the 13 other ministers to appear.


The state prosecutor in Madrid later asked the court to issue national and European arrest warrants for Puigdemont and the four other ministers.


Puigdemont's no-show was the latest act of defiance from the renegade leader, who has caused consternation in Madrid following the referendum and the Catalan parliament's declaration of unilateral independence weeks later.


Puigdemont fled Spain and appeared in Brussels on Monday. On the same day, Spain's state prosecutor announced he was seeking charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds against the deposed president and the 13 ex-ministers. The charges follow Catalonia's October 1 independence referendum, ruled illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court.


A spokesperson for Puigdemont said he would remain in Brussels with the other four ministers.

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