Puigdemont stays away as ousted Catalonia deputies attend court

Photo: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

Sacked members of Catalonia’s regional government are appearing at Spain’s high court to face rebellion and sedition charges, after October’s disputed independence referendum, the BBC reports.

Nine officials have turned up at the court in Madrid for questioning.

But Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others have ignored the order. Prosecutors could order their arrest.

Mr Puigdemont, who is now in Belgium, said earlier: “This is a political trial.”

Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since the referendum was held on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia, dissolving the regional parliament and calling snap local elections.

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