Catalonia crisis: Sacked ministers held by Madrid court

Carles Puigdemont

Shortly after the judge's ruling, Puigdemont said on Twitter that "the gang of 155" - a reference to the article of the Spanish constitution Rajoy invoked to enforce direct rule in Catalonia - wanted to jail him and his dismissed cabinet.

"The fury with which the Spanish government has attacked a handsome European nation is outrageous and is threatening us all", Mr Puigdemont said, adding that Catalonia's independence is "no longer an internal affair" of Spain. On Tuesday, the Spanish government said Catalonia will have a regional election in December.

An investigation could take years before it leads to a trial.

The struggle has divided Catalonia itself and caused deep resentment across the rest of Spain.

A Spanish judge has jailed eight ousted Catalan ministers, after the region attempted to declare independence.




The summons, issued Wednesday, came after Spain's chief prosecutor called for charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement to be brought against Puigdemont and other members of the Catalan government and parliament for their roles in a pro-independence movement and declaration of independence.

All of them refused to respond to questioning with the exception of former minister Villa, who spoke for about 40 minutes. It was as yet unknown why their hearings were adjourned by the court, which deals with cases involving lawmakers.

On Monday, Spain's state prosecutor accused Mr Puigdemont of rebellion and sedition for organising the independence referendum held on 1 October.

The courts have already told the Catalan secessionist leaders to deposit 6.2 million euros ($7.2 million) by Friday to cover potential liabilities.

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