SPAIN’s chief prosecutor has brought back the Franco dictatorship by calling for charges including rebellion to be laid against Catalan leaders following the region’s declaration of independence.
José Manuel Maza said the charges should also include sedition and provocation by regional officials. The crime of rebellion carries a maximum jail sentence of 30 years, while sedition has a maximum of 15 years. Under the Spanish legal system, the request will be considered by a judge.
It comes as Spain acts to take direct control of Catalonia, including replacing the region’s civil servants with Spanish officials, shutting down its parliament and arresting the command of the Catelonian police.
Speaking at a press conference, attorney-general Maza also called for Catalonia’s leaders to be charged with misuse of funds over the holding of a referendum deemed illegal under the Spanish constitution.
Spanish daily El Mundo reported that the office of Spain’s attorney general has ordered that only the pro-independence MPs who voted in last week’s declaration of independence will have to appear before Spain’s Supreme Court to face charges of ‘rebellion’.
Other pro-independence Catalan officials will face the same charges but in the National Court, one of Spain’s highest judicial authorities, reported El Mundo. Yesterday morning Catalan officials, cheered on by their supporters, defied instructions from Madrid not to turn up for work.
Ministers who arrived at their offices were given hours to leave under threat of ‘action’ by Catalonia’s regional police force, Mossos. On Friday, the Madrid dictatorship stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and ‘removed’ Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from office after the regional parliament declared independence.
The imposition of direct control by invoking Article 155 of the constitution, a first for Spain, will see as many as 150 of the region’s ministers replaced. Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Puigdemont has gone to Brussels to seek support from the EU leaders.
Spanish daily El Confidencial reported that Catalonia’s pro-independence parties are divided on whether to contest the December 21 regional elections called by Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy as part of the Article 155 overhaul of Catalonia.
A local radio station said Puigdemont’s pro-independence party PDeCAT had confirmed it will contest the December 21 elections in Catalonia ‘in defence of institutions and against the wretched 155.’ The party had originally said contesting the elections could undermine last week’s declaration of independence.