Catalonia’s removed vice president has been refused bail following a hearing by a Spanish judge.

Oriol Junqueras was ordered to be kept in jail following charges of sedition, but six other former Catalan ministers were freed on bail by the court.

Along with Mr Junqueras, deposed Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn and the leads of two civic groups ANC and Omnium Cultural, were also kept in prison.

Spanish authorities levels charges of rebellion, sedition, and the misuse of public funds against ministers of the Catalan government after they called an independence referendum on 1 October.

The referendum was declared illegal by Spain’s constitutional court in Madrid and national police used force to try and stop it, including the confiscation of ballot boxes and documented physical attacks on people going to vote and protesting. 

The Madrid central government then removed Catalonia’s regional autonomy, imposed direct rule, and called new elections.

Disputed president Carles Puigdemont has fled to Belgium, where he will on Monday attend an extradition hearing on whether he should be transported back to Spain.

The Catalan leader’s lawyer said on Saturday that he wanted to remain in Belgium until after the snap Catalan elections called by the Spanish government, which are scheduled for 21 December.

More follows…

 

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