Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Catalonia: Puigdemont 'will not return' to Spain for questioning

Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont
Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will not return to Spain to answer charges including rebellion, his Belgian lawyer has said.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Paul Bekaert suggested Mr Puigdemont should instead be questioned in Belgium where he has been since Monday.

He has been summoned to court in Madrid on Thursday, alongside 13 deputies.

They face charges including sedition and misuse of public funds over last month's banned independence referendum.

Spanish prosecutors could order their arrest if they fail to appear in court for questioning.

But Mr Bekaert told Dutch and Belgian media that his client would "wait and see" further reaction from the Spanish authorities before returning because of the "high" risk of detention.

He also suggested he would fight any extradition ordered by the Spanish national government.

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