Puigdemont skips court appearance, but will cooperate with authorities - lawyer

Casey Dawson
November 3, 2017

Puigdemont's lawyer Paul Bekaert told Reuters that his client would not travel to Spain where the political climate was "not good", but would cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice.

Puigdemont and four others fled to Belguim after the three day ultimatum to pay a deposit of €6.2m ($7.2m) to cover potential liabilities which was stated in the court summons, expired.

Before appearing in court today (November 2), the prosecution had requested that eight of the former regional government ministers were jailed. On Tuesday, the Spanish government said Catalonia will have a regional election in December. With Puigdemont and four others in Belgium, only 15 turned up.

Earlier, the Supreme Court suspended until next week the questioning of six Catalan legislators under investigation for rebellion following the declaration of independence.

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The ninth minister was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000).

In response to Catalonia declaring independence weeks later, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stripped the region of its autonomy and unseated its legislators.

"The decision to hold them in custody is absolutely disproportionate as we consider the charges of rebellion and sedition lack any ground, no matter how much the prosecution insists on affirming it", lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas said. He did not turn up at a High Court hearing on Thursday.

On October 27th, the pro-independence majority in the northeastern region's parliament hurriedly approved a declaration of independence.

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