Spanish court charges Catalan leaders with rebellion

Catalan separatist candidate fails to win regional presidency

Catalan separatist candidate fails to win regional presidency

A Spanish Supreme Court judge on Friday charged 13 Catalan separatist politicians, including fugitive former regional president Carles Puigdemont, with rebellion for their attempt to declare independence from Spain. He is one of 25 separatist leaders, including former president Carles Puigdemont, that Spain is putting on trial on charges of rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state.

The ex-leader has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since last October's banned referendum that backed Catalonia's unilateral secession bid.

On Friday evening, Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena ordered an global arrest warrant for all six.

The head of the Catalan Republican Left party, Marta Rovira, who was also summoned to the High Court, announced on Friday that she had left Spain to live in exile in Switzerland.

Some parts of the crowd clashed with police and Spanish media report that more than 20 people were treated for minor injured.

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

One protester there, Carme Sala, said: "There are two million people who want to leave Spain and they can't put us all in prison."Catalan TV showed rallies in support of the jailed leaders elsewhere in the region including in the cities of Vic and Tarragona".

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

Four other separatists had already been detained by the Spanish authorities.

Turull could still be chosen in a second vote due to take place on Saturday when only a simple majority is needed, but it is unclear whether this will happen.

But one of them, Marta Rovira, ignored the summons and instead announced she was taking "the road to exile".Rovira is deputy leader of the leftwing separatist ERC party, whose chief is now in jail.

Separatist parties have been trying to elect a president and form a new regional government since defending their absolute majority in the Catalan parliament in regional elections in December.

Opposition leader Ines Arrimadas of the Citizens party chided the separatists for not presenting a candidate free of legal problems, which the Spanish government has said is a prerequisite for it ending its takeover of Catalonia's regional affairs.

Llarena also issued global arrest warrants for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium along with four of his former ministers.

The ruling also covered Puigdemont's former deputy, Oriol Junqueras; pro-independence civil society campaigners, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart and former Catalan interior minister, Joaquim Forn.

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