Spain’s Attorney General Jose Manuel Maza has told local media that Madrid plans to file charges against deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his deputies, in the aftermath of declaring Catalonia a sovereign republic.
Many openly suspect that the deposed Catalan leadership will be charged with “rebellion”, which in Spain can carry a 30 year prison sentence. Additionally, it is thought that the Catalan leaders will also be charged with sedition and embezzlement by Madrid.
Spanish media have also reported that Puigdemont has fled to Brussels in order to avoid prosecution.
The Belgian Migration Minister Theo Francken had previously stated that it was “not unrealistic” that Puigdemont could receive asylum in Belgium, a country which itself is in danger of splitting between Flemish and French speaking Walloon regions.
As an EU citizen, Puigdemont has the automatic right to live in Belgium, but unless formally granted asylum, he and his cohorts could be subject to a European Arrest Warrant, should Spain seek one.
Puigdemont had previously indicated he sought to remain in Catalonia and “peacefully resist” the Madrid takeover of the government in Barcelona and neither he nor any spokesmen have confirmed the reports of his arrival in Belgium.