Catalonia: Separatist politicians say Puigdemont's refusal to return to Spain could lead to their imprisonment

'This attitude could lead to all the people summoned ending up in custody,' says Joan Josep Nuet

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 02 November 2017 02:09
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Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and former member of the Government of Catalonia Clara Ponsati attend a news conference at the Press Club Brussels Europe in Brussels, Belgium
Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and former member of the Government of Catalonia Clara Ponsati attend a news conference at the Press Club Brussels Europe in Brussels, Belgium

Catalonia's former president Carles Puigdemont has been criticised for fleeing to Belgium and warned that his departure could lead to others facing prison as a result.

Mr Puigdemont, who spearheaded the region's independence bid, travelled to Belgium after Spanish Attorney General José Manuel Maza called for charges to be filed against Catalonia’s secessionist leaders.

They face up to 30 years in jail on charges of rebellion and sedition after declaring Catalonia an independent republic.

Joan Josep Nuet, who is one of the six members of the parliamentary speaker's committee due to be interrogated this week about the independence bid accused Mr Puigdemont of "irresponsibility" by leaving the country.

“This attitude from president Puigdemont could lead to all the people summoned ending up being remanded in custody because he is showing them in some way that escaping is a possibility,” he told The Telegraph.

He called for the former leader to stop performing "gestures” and instead focus on negotiating a legal referendum with Spain.

Mr Nuet said he was prepared to fight a court case against the accusations levelled at him. The parliamentary speaker and four other member of the committee that agreed to put the independence legislation before Catalonia's parliament also face interrogation on Thursday by a Spanish supreme court judge.

Mr Puigdemont said in Brussels earlier this week that he was seeking “freedom and safety” from Spanish authorities but he was not seeking asylum.

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