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Spain’s Chief Prosecutor Says Arrest of Catalan Leader Possible

Catalonia’s leaders retort they have a right to decide their future even if it’s not allowed by the constitution.Catalonia’s leaders retort they have a right to decide their future even if it’s not allowed by the constitution.

Spain’s chief public prosecutor on Monday refused to rule out ordering the arrest of Catalonia’s president as Spanish authorities continued a crackdown against an independence referendum in the region.

Jose Manuel Maza said Carles Puigdemont could be charged with civil disobedience, abuse of office and misuse of public funds for pressing ahead with preparations for the October 1 referendum, AFP reported.

“It’s a decision that is possible but we have not considered that we should take it,” Maza said during an interview with Onda Cero radio.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who meets US President Donald Trump in Washington Tuesday, has repeatedly said that the vote will not take place,

The legislation underpinning the vote has already been suspended by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Catalonia’s leaders retort they have a right to decide their future even if it’s not allowed by the constitution.

The Spanish government has reacted defensively to the calls for independence. It has tried to deal with the situation through prosecution rather than political dialogue.

On Monday police summoned 17 people for allegedly developing web platforms dedicated to the referendum.

They are accused of allegedly “disseminating a website for people to participate in a referendum declared illegal by the Constitutional Court,” a police spokesman said.

Meanwhile police visited the office of the mayor of Oliana, Miquel Sala, one of the over 700 mayors under investigation for pledging to cooperate with the referendum.

Absent at the time, he said his staff handed over only a report compiled for internal use summing up Madrid’s position on the vote.

The chief public prosecutor in Catalonia has ordered Catalan regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, to go to polling stations on the day of the referendum and identify who is in charge and seize ballots and ballot boxes.

 

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