Spain Order Jailing Of Catalan Leaders: 'What Happens Next' To Puigdemont?

The Spanish public prosecutor on Thursday ordered the country's High Court that the Catalonian secessionist leaders be jailed. An arrest warrant be issued for ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and eight members of his former government. 

Investigative magistrate Carmen Lamela issued the ruling on Thursday at the request of prosecutors who are pursuing a criminal case stemming from the declaration of secession the Parliament of Catalonia made Friday. The eight are Oriol Junqueras (Deputy First Minister, economy), Jordi Turull (spokesman), Raul Romeva (foreign affairs), Josep Rull (territory), Meritxell Borrás (public administration), Carles Mundó (justice), Dolors Bassa (work & social affairs), Joaquin Form (interior).

Earlier, the prosecutor's office requested the jailing of Catalonian Vice-President Oriol Junqueras and seven other officials charged with rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds, while the probe is ongoing, La Vanguardia reported.  The prosecutor also asked the judge to issue a European arrest warrant for former leader Carles Puigdemont while also requesting that counselor Santi Vila, who resigned from government before Catalonia declared independence, be released on bail of €50,000.

The request comes hours after ousted Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont failed to appear before Spanish judges. He’s currently in Brussels, seeking "freedom and safety." Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert said that he would “cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice.”

On Friday, October 27 the prosecutor filed a complaint against the Catalonian government for crimes it considers “very serious.” The alleged crimes relate to Catalonia’s independence referendum in which the majority of voters opted to secede from Spain.

Yesterday, a statement from the “Legitimate Catalan Government” confirmed that former Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, would not, as expected, appear in court in Madrid today.

The Spain Report points out that Catalan public television, TV3, published extracts from a statement from the "legitimate government of Catalonia" in Brussels on Wednesday evening that denounced the accusations presented against Carles Puigdemont and 13 other former regional ministers and the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, and five former members of her Speaker's Committee. The statement said Mr. Puigdemont and a group of former regional ministers would be staying in Brussels to "denounce this political trial" abroad, implying they would not return to Madrid by 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, when they have been ordered to appear at the National High Court. The statement said the prosecutor's accusations—for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds—were a "political trial" and the potential sentences—rebellion carries a maximum term of 30 years in jail—"disproportionate". The statement says Puigdemont and the others are not staying in Brussels "to evade justice but rather to demand it". It suggests the group will attempt to answer the judge's questions from Brussels "using the mechanisms already foreseen in the European Union for these circumstances".

This morning, Spain’s El Pais newspaper asked what happens next now that Puigdemont failed to appear in court. According to El Pais, Puigdemont, as well as former members of the Catalan Cabinet Meritxell Borràs, Antoni Comín, Clara Ponsatí and Meritxell Serret, failed to appear.

So what happens next?

Ongoing cases

1) In the High Court, Judge Carmen Lamela has accepted the formal accusation of rebellion filed by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office against Puigdemont and 13 members of his former cabinet. The crime carries a possible sentence of 30 years in prison.

2) The former president is also being investigated by the Catalan High Court (TSJC) for disobedience, misusing public funds and making deliberately unlawful decisions as elected officials (known in Spanish as prevaricación).

A European Arrest Warrant?

1) Now that Puigdemont has failed to appear in the High Court, Judge Lamela could draw up a writ ordering him to be taken into custody.

2) Once this writ has been produced, Spanish judges can issue a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) – the European Union equivalent of the old extradition orders. Prosecutors must make a request for this arrest warrant to be issued.

3) This EAW would be handed over by the judge to the Spanish National Police, who will use the SIRENE office – part of the EU’s Schengen Information System – to transmit the warrant to Belgian police.

4) This mechanism entails the arrest of the individual named in the warrant. A Belgian judge would then be tasked with looking at the handover of that person to Spain. The EAW protocol has been in place in Spain since 2003 and was updated in 2014, partly to include the requirement that the initial request for the warrant comes from prosecutors (previously judges were able to draw up an EAW without involving prosecutors in the process). It was also updated to include the principle of proportionality, meaning that an EAW can only be issued when Spain believes the conditions for pre-trial custody exist in the case of the person named in the warrant.

EAWs are carried out between judges of different EU members states, and, as a point of difference with extradition orders, the governments of the relevant countries are not involved.

5) EAWs are regulated in Spanish legislation under Law 23 of 2014 covering the mutual recognition of penal resolutions in the EU. This rule imposes on Spain the obligation to comply with other EU legislation including a 2002 agreement on making the handover of detainees easier.

6. The procedure is fairly straightforward, on paper at least. The judicial system in the country notified usually agrees to the handover of the person named in the warrant in around 60 days.

Possible obstacles

There are, however, a number of legal avenues that can extend these time frames, according to judicial sources consulted by this paper.

1) This handover could take longer if the judge ordering the EAW has not exhausted all other possible means of questioning the suspect, including via video conference. However, in the case of crimes as serious of rebellion – as is the case with former Catalan premier Puigdemont – this excuse would carry little weight, according to judicial sources.

2) Another hurdle thwarting a rapid handover could be the fact that rebellion is not on the list of 32 crimes that are exempt, under European law, from “double classification.” In other words the crime of rebellion is on the books in both countries. Under Belgian law, rebellion has a slightly different definition from that of Spanish law, according to sources consulted. And even in Spain, the crime is not very well-defined. This could lead to Belgian judges to make an argument that they need to look closely at the subject in question and examine whether, under Belgian law, Puigdemont and fellow members of his government currently in Belgium are actually liable to prosecution. If a judge agrees to the handover of the detainees, those detainees could then appeal.

3) Although the simplified EAW system is based on “an elevated level of confidence” between EU member states, and on the fact that judicial resolutions in one country will be recognized by others, people named in these warrants can claim – and everything suggests Puigdemont will do this – that they are afraid their fundamental rights won’t be respected in Spain. Article 1.3 of the European legislation of 2002 opened the door to this possibility and has allowed Belgium to stop the handover of various ETA prisoners to Spain in the past.

With the Spanish Government continuing to escalate the confrontation with the former Catalonian leadership, we suspect that an arrest warrant is heading Carles Puigdemont’s way. Meanwhile, he chose to drink coffee in a Brussels café instead of appearing in a Madrid courtroom.


peddling-fiction ted41776 Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:28 Permalink

This seems like a (successful) conspiracy that has stolen over 2000 tax-paying corporations from Cataluña (with ñ since they are Madrid's bitch now), that now will pay up to Madrid, Valencia, Rioja and Andalucía.And the best part, Catalans can (((blame))) themselves for this loss.The "hidden hand" strikes again. Lessons rubbed-in for future secessionists will be on the news cycle, until something happens in Asia.

In reply to by ted41776

Occident Mortal peddling-fiction Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:30 Permalink

Catalan have failed because when it came to their moment, when the whole world was watching... their President hesitated and baulked.When you are creating a new country there is no time to waste, you cannot errr or hesitate at any moment you have to charge ahead at full tilt. Give me liberty or give me death. Any pause at all is just a sign of weakness and inelligibility.These guys will all go to jail and history will record them as criminals who tried to enrich themselves at the expense of the Spanish people no matter how far from the truth that may be. Catalan = how not to do it.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

Give Me Some Truth Occident Mortal Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:04 Permalink

I think everyone in the world is working from the assumption that those who hold power actually hold "absolute power" - and will not be afraid to use said power if someone threatens their "right" to control others.Furthermore, anyone who does threaten those with power will be flattened like a frog taking a nap beneath the front wheel of an SUV.This assumption should perhaps be tested by someone somewhere. Maybe the assumptions are wrong?Didn't about 10 countries leave the Soviet Union ... with nary a frog being smooshed?  

In reply to by Occident Mortal

Give Me Some Truth ipso_facto Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:04 Permalink

I take your point, but after 1945 even the Soviet Union didn't kill "millions" in all the republics who later became independent nations. Not a shot was fired when the Berlin Wall came down. For decades, everyone thought this would happen; it didn't.This said, rebellions ain't for sissies. Now a days it takes Sgt. York-type valor to simply contest a speeding ticket, or a fine for cutting your neighbor's grass without a business license.Picture this (if you can): A man goes through security at an airport. During the course of his requisite frisk, a TSA agent grabs the man in the cods. He then tells the man's handicapped son to get up, he needs to search his wheel chair. The man tells the agent to "F--- off and pushes him as hard as he can away from himself and his family ...Has such an event ever even happened? Heck no. No man (in the "home of the brave") is brave enough to rebel against authority in such a manner.Point? The Establishment has no reason to fear rebellions from the sheeple. 

In reply to by ipso_facto

Blankone Occident Mortal Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:16 Permalink

Did he simply hesitate or was he always a traitor in disguise? In this case he may simply not been a strong leader and a poor choice. In the case of Greece, who also had a chance and then flushed it, their "rebel" leaders were always traitors in disguise.

If Catalan allows the moment to slip away they will not regain their previous place but will in the future dominated with a heavy hand and their finances drained away from them.

In reply to by Occident Mortal

Crazy Or Not peddling-fiction Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:55 Permalink

We've just got home from a citizen's protest of pots & pans banging protest outside (each district's) town hall. It was timed to mobilize the local communities into action against the imprisonment of the Catalan politicians today (who were given 1 day's notice to appear in the Madrid court and present their defense  350/550 miles away depending on constituency). Spain having raised that the issue of the referendum was legality, what will now be put on trial is the status and legitimacy of Spain's legal system. So far it's not looking good.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

Vageling peddling-fiction Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:35 Permalink

^^^ This!No damn way the separatist are THAT fucking stupid. And Juncker doesn't give a fuck about 95 "regions". As long as the elite rule them directly. Fucking clowns and their C-grade production. We fooled some gentiles... Gee... Didn't notice. No outcry from the Catalonians either. Fucking theater. Don Diego and Overflow noticed this scam very quickly as Spaniards.Stupid clownshow. You will be demoralized, goy!

In reply to by peddling-fiction

BigWillyStyle887 Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:13 Permalink

Charges of rebellion???Rebellions dont happen in a fucking voting booth and if they keep that shit up long enough theyll get to see what a real rebellion actually looks like.

BrownCoat licutis Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:34 Permalink

"turn into a shooting war"Spain's past may indicate how bad that will be.The Spanish Inquisition (in response to diversity and multiculturalism). The Spanish Civil War 1938-39 where attrocities were committed on both sides. Their past strongly indicates why the current Spanish Government is so hard nosed and dictatorial when dealing with an ethnic minority.

In reply to by licutis

7thGenMO Kayman Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:53 Permalink

The Condor Legion, composed largely of volunteers, aided the nationalists because Stalin sent a nice bunch of boys and girls that taught the Spanish Republicans to sing "Kumbaya" when they weren't out having fun destroying statues, brutalizing nuns and priests, etc. - you know - much like ANTIFA of today.

In reply to by Kayman

Give Me Some Truth licutis Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:48 Permalink

I'm just waiting for ANY country or region of a country to break-away from "the club."They say Britain kind of did it with "Brexit" but, then again, this ain't a done deal yet.At this point, I'd dance a little two step if any adjoining subdivisions in any city managed to incorporate and form their own hamlet without the tanks rolling in and all the state's newspapers calling for the house arrest of Joe the Hardware Store owner who started the petition drive.  

In reply to by licutis

webmatex Give Me Some Truth Fri, 11/03/2017 - 09:41 Permalink

I broke away from all of it years ago - grew thick tree cover and hedging all around the perimeter - large gate - total privacy.Maybe liberty no longer exists?Just a lost dream replaced by my discreet and anonomous persona watching the approaching drones from the shadows.And the club. A convivial rendevous of the like minded or a blunt instument.Before the cry for freedom the anguish of repression must be expelled.

In reply to by Give Me Some Truth

Crazy Or Not Don Diego Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:58 Permalink

READ THE FUCKING PAPER! Sir, you suffer from a confirmation bias -that cannot accept any opinion other than the one you already hold. Yet you do not state facts only opinion and ad hominim attacks.If you read it (and others,) and actually reseached your subject you'd understand the deep fallacies in your arguments. Then perhaps you'd stop spouting your unfounded drivel. There were no prosecutions, Govt. tenders were continued to be awarded to the same contractors,  the power structure remained intact, the industrialist king makers remained the same....ergo the Francoists are still in power. Most recently a proposed museum to the civil war in Barcelona is being blocked by the PP - a MUSEUM!!!! 

In reply to by Don Diego

Crazy Or Not Crazy Or Not Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:17 Permalink

Look Don... I'll even help you out:However, the compromise reached after the death of the dictator by those who wished for a reforma [reform] within the old regime and those who demanded a clean ruptura [break] with it, proved incapable of fully resolving these issues. According to Juan Luis Cebrian, the problem with this settlement was that the Transition meant leaving intact the fundamental structure of Francoist power through democratic legitimization, and abandoning the objective of transforming the country. Noted historians Raymond Carr and Juan Pablo Fusi view the criticism of this period as a result of unrealistic expectations that arose from Spaniards' inexperience with democratic practices...there was no process toward a fundamental reconciliation between Spaniards` achievable through a qualitative change of the social fabric, only a reduction in tension that could allow the reaccommodation of the old power within a new political context and fashion .[13] The process of political transformation became one of continuation, in which the goal was to disguise the past and to adapt it to the present...Do you get it?Can you imagine how that was experienced by people not raised with a Pro-Franco silver spoon?How they experience trying to quote for Govt. tenders which aren't announced and are awarded repeadly to one single contractor....

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Crazy Or Not GreatUncle Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:49 Permalink

Unfortunately Spain is usually at the top, or near the top of EU corruption.69% Corruption is widespread in Spain83% Corruption in public procurement etc etc… there was the Bankia Crisis....The scandal broke in October of last year, triggering a cascade of resignations and party suspensions going all the way up to Rodrigo Rato, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund and a veteran of Spanish politics who headed the lenders between 2010 and 2012. Under pressure from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Rato volunteered to have his own Popular Party (PP) membership suspended while the investigation was underway.

In reply to by GreatUncle

Guderian Crazy Or Not Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:29 Permalink

Your proposal reads legit, but would have reaped desaster for Spain.Had the king not pushed for immunity and reconciliation, there would have been uprisings, coup (attempts) and possibly, if not probably, a civil war.The Francistos were very much established throughout the military, media, church, police and economic establishment in 1975. Spain needed to pacify them, in order to move on in peace

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Crazy Or Not Guderian Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

Yeah I see that, and probably the peace was very fragile to begin with. The study goes on to say that other nations that have tried to move to Democracy have NOT followed the Spanish model - because it does not deliver a peace and reconcilation process, so is culturally difficult for the people to move forward. Whether it would have been possible to open such a process at a later date - given the absence of any meaningful arbitration between agreived parties suggests that Spain is still not ready to close wounds and move forward. To their own detriment, the winners are the Nation economies who are willing to embrace and effect  change and move on. I imagine more new factories will be opening in Poland rather than Spain as a result of this debacle.

In reply to by Guderian

IProtectYou Guderian Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:19 Permalink

Spain needed to pacify them, in order to move on in peace.Right ..... and then, one way or the other,  they got rid of everyone who might endanger the continuation of asserting power.Fascists, like all mentally disturbed, are usually an obstacle to peace.You are probably one of those naive snow flakes who believe in "being nice" is solving all problems... 

In reply to by Guderian

Crazy Or Not Kayman Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:32 Permalink

Remember that it was George Prescot Bush and pals who were financiers of IG Farben (and benificiaries of its breakup and intelectual copyrights) as well as wider financiers of German industrial expansion (along with HM The Queen's uncle Edward VIII and pals). Such was their fear of  the masses rising against the ruling classes....The US had a good dabble,   -the net result being that though we went to war with Germany. (and yet also supported German and Italian bombing of civilians in Spain). the power structures remained intact and the "Baath party" all over the Western World - kept hold of the reins.  

In reply to by Kayman

Mandel Bot BigWillyStyle887 Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:59 Permalink

Most of the definitions of 'Rebellion" I have looked up specify that it consists of armed resistance. So far all the arms being used appear to be in the hands of the Spanish Government thugs.Puigdemont has been leading a separatist movement following democratic priciples. Hard to see how this constitutes rebellion.

In reply to by BigWillyStyle887

Capitan Trueno Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:19 Permalink

Catalan separatists: a corrupt and xenophobic regional political eliteSpain is not a dictatorship. Franco died more than forty years ago. Catalonia is an autonomous Spanish region with more devolved powers than Scotland, Quebec or the German Länder.On October 1st, Catalan regional authorities held an illegal referendum, without proper voter rolls  and without basic democratic guarantees. They claim to  have won it, but not even the very international observers they hired would endorse such a fraudulent win.You may have watched some videos of police charges, pictures of bloodied children, beaten-up  women, and disrespected elderly women. Most of those images are fake. Frame-ups. Remember the woman who claimed that a policeman had broken her fingers one by one? She appeared later with her hand ostentatiously bandaged… except it was the other hand. They talk about almost a thousand “victims”. Only two people were hospitalized.In the following days, the children of police and civil guard officers suffered finger-pointing, insults and humiliations by separatist-sympathizing teachers,and they were forced, along with their fellow students, to go on strike and protest. Brainwashed with “Children’s Stories” where the happy ending is to “kill the king and the mean policemen”. This has all been widely documented. Neither Catalonia is “one people” nor a majority of its citizens wish independence. Nationalist politicians have been imposing over the last three decades an education system based on supremacist nationalistic principles and hatred of  the rest of Spain and its citizens. The families who dared to request a bilingual education for their children have been singled out. Those children have been –and still are being– scorned and sidelined. Catalan public schools don't teach, they indoctrinate. Separatists have only received the support from ETA members, the extreme-left-wing, populists and anti-establishment groups. Our democracy has advocates like Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa. On the other side  there is a coup-perpetrating, sectarian, xenophobic government with terrorists like ETA's Arnaldo Otegui as role models. Their “dialogue” consists in lying and insulting the intellectuals and artists that put into question their undemocratic means and their totalitarian ends.   There is no oppressed people in Catalonia, but a corrupt regional political elite. And they are perpetrating a coup to avoid going to prison for stealing. It is true that they are supported by a part of Catalan society, but not by a  majority. That is why they refuse to call for fresh elections; that is why they are trying to silence the opposition; that is why they speak of  “enemies” to refer to more than half of society, and claim themselves as “the people”.They are putschists, sectarian and xenophobic. They are inspired by techniques that may sound familiar to you: a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth. Beware, and do not rule out a domino effect.…  - Seguir leyendo:… - Seguir leyendo:…