Protests Erupt in Catalonia After Former Leaders Are Jailed

A Spanish government source says Puigdemont is now in Brussels

A Spanish government source says Puigdemont is now in Brussels

'It is quite obvious that my client will take now the attitude of waiting to see what happens, ' said the Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert, when asked about whether the pro-independence leader will appear in court in Spain.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium on Monday.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up.

Before appearing in court today (November 2), the prosecution had requested that eight of the former regional government ministers were jailed. Ninety percent of voters were in favor of separating from Spain.

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"The legitimate government of Catalonia has been sent to jail for its ideas and for having been faithful to the mandate approved by the parliament of Catalonia", he said.

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

The jailings of the secessionist leaders and Puigdemont's flight to Belgium make it hard for leading figures from the independence movement to stand in a snap election in the wealthy region called by the Spanish government for December 21.

Five other senior members of the Catalan parliament, as well as Speaker Carme Forcadell, are facing the same charges but, because of their parliamentary immunity, their cases are being handled by the Supreme Court which has yet to hold a hearing. But instead, magistrate Carmen Lamela chose to jail eight of the politicians, only setting bail for Santi Vila, who had opposed last week's unilateral declaration.

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