Judge jails 8 former members of Catalan gov’t over independence declaration

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Spanish High Court Judge Carmen Lamela on Thursday sent former Catalan deputy leader Oriol Junqueras and six former members of the Catalan government to prison without bail on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in relation to the Catalan independence declaration last week.

Former Catalan business spokesman Santi Vila was also sent to jail with his former companions, but will regain his liberty if he is able to pay a bail which has been set at 50,000 euros.

Vila received this treatment because he resigned from the former government of Carles Puigdemont a day before it voted to declare the independence of region on Oct. 27.

In her conclusions after questioning the eight during the day, the judge said there was a risk of flight from the accused as well as the danger they could destroy evidence.

The judge explained she valued that none of the eight answered either her questions or those of the prosecutor, limiting themselves to replying to only those of their defense lawyer, which although within their rights can be taken into consideration when interpreting events.

The eight are likely to be taken to the Soto del Real prison around 40 kilometers outside of Madrid.

Earlier in the day, the prosecutors’ office requested an arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is currently in Belgium after refusing to appear in court on Thursday.

The request for the arrest warrant also includes four former Catalan ministers, who all remained in Belgium with Puigdemont.

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