Former Catalan leader facing arrest in Finland

The Latest: Europe arrest warrants for 6 Catalan separatists
Spanish Supreme Court judge order sending Catalan separatists into jail
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25 March, 2018

Emergency services said 24 people were lightly injured in clashes between police and demonstrators.

Spain's Supreme Court ruled that 25 leaders of the autonomous region of Catalonia should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement, or disobeying the state.

Mr Turull is among former officials facing possible rebellion charges over the regional parliament's failed attempt past year to break away from Spain.

Puigdemont voiced his support for Rovira and the other Catalans charged, on a Twitter message which said they were being indicted by people "who don't understand democracy".

However, on Friday, Llarena issued fresh orders for European and global arrest warrants for Catalan politicians overseas, including Puigdemont and Rovira.

Of those, five were sent on Friday to pre-trial jail, among them Jordi Turull, a close ally of Puigdemont who was due to be put forward for a second vote on Saturday to become the next regional president.

The state of Catalonia declared independence from Spain in October previous year after there was friction between the regional and national governments.

The decision was met with calls for demonstrations on the streets of Catalonia.

He and other secessionist leaders are due to appear before the Supreme Court on Friday morning for the opening of a new phase in the investigation which precedes a trial.

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Speaker Roger Torrent declared while speaking to the chamber a vote on the candidacy of Jordi Turull to not be carried out.

In a 70-page ruling, Llarena noted that, from 2012 onwards, the Catalan government had been "drawing up a route map for Catalonia's transition process towards becoming an independent country" and co-ordinating the campaign with Cuixart and SĂ nchez's influential grassroots groups.

A Supreme Court judge held former Catalan parliament president Carme Forcadell and three former regional ministers alongside Turull.

Marta Rovira, who announced she was taking "the road to exile".

Several separatist leaders, including former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, have been in custody since past year.

The top court ruled that there was still a risk that Joaquim Forn, the ousted Catalan interior minister, and Jordi Sanchez, the former president of the pro-independence civil rights group ANC, to repeat the offences that landed them in jail. The issue of independence not only has generated a conflict with Madrid but also has split Catalan society.

Mr. Turull was the third candidate proposed by the main separatist parties since December, when they narrowly retained their parliamentary majority in a snap election called by Mr. Rajoy.

The plan backfired as parties favouring a split with Spain won the vote, though they have been unable to agree on a common strategy or elect a new regional president.


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