Europe & UK

September 01, 2017

Post Independence declaration, Catalonia leaders faces rebellion charges

Carles Puigdemont

On October 30, Spanish Attorney General José Manuel Maza charged the former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont and other top Catalan officials with rebellion, sedition, embezzlement and malfeasance related to the region's declaration of independence.

The main Catalan political leaders, who declared independence on October 27, were accused and Maza filed two separate complaints against them. The first complaint was filed against the members of the Catalan government, including Puigdemont, in the Audiencia Nacional. The second was filed against members of the Permanent Deputation of the Catalan Parliament in the Tribunal Supremo, which has the power to hear cases against the members of Parliament. Maza argues that the Tribunal Supremo retains jurisdiction over those defendants who are members of the Permanent Deputation despite the dissolution of the Catalan government.

Post the declaration of independence, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired Puigdemont, dissolved the Catalan Parliament, and invoked emergency measures under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in an attempt to take back Catalonia. Article 155 grants the national government authority to "take all measures necessary to compel" a self-governing region to meet obligations imposed by the national constitution where that community's action is "seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain."

Puigdemont and the other officials, if found guilty, could face up to 30 years in prison.

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