Catalan leader surrenders into custody

Disputed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four other officials who were with him in Brussels have surrendered to Belgian police, according to a prosecutor’s spokesperson.  

Protests against jailing of Catalan leaders

All Catalonia crisis coverage from the Post

A Belgian judge will decide on Monday whether to carry out a European Union arrest warrant issued Friday by a Spanish judge.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium soon after the Spanish central government voted to enact Article 155 of the country’s constitution and impose direct rule on Catalonia.

On Friday, Puigdemont told the Belgian public TV channel RTBF that he would put his faith in the Belgian courts.

“I will not flee from justice. I will go towards justice, but real justice. I’ve told my lawyers to tell the Belgian justice system that I’m completely available to cooperate,” said Puigdemont.

A Belgian politician previously offered Puigdemont political asylum but the Catalan leader said he was in Brussels to promote Catalonia’s independence and be safe from Madrid.

He and his four members of his former cabinet are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust.

The five, and eight others are already in custody in Madrid due to the referendum which a Spanish high court court deemed unconstitutional.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia last week, calling a regional election for Dec 21. Puigdemont’s ruling pro-independence party is allowed to participate.

More details to follow. 

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