Spain Could Issue An Arrest Warrant For Ousted Catalan Leader

A Spanish government source says Puigdemont is now in Brussels

"The fury with which the Spanish government has attacked a attractive European nation is outrageous and is threatening us all", Mr Puigdemont said, adding that Catalonia's independence is "no longer an internal affair" of Spain.

The six had been summonsed by two Madrid courts on Thursday.

Before appearing in court today (November 2), the prosecution had requested that eight of the former regional government ministers were jailed.

Misuse of funds could be chosen if the Spanish authorities consider that Puigdemont illegally used public money to hold the outlawed independence referendum on October 1.

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In a speech broadcast late on Thursday by Catalan public TV3, Mr Puigdemont called on Catalans to protest against the Spanish authorities "without violence, peacefully and with respect for everybody's opinions".

A European arrest warrant for ousted President Carles Puigdemont has also been issued, according to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

On Monday, Spain's chief prosecutor said the Catalan leaders were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.

But if those Catalan politicians appearing in court are denied bail it will cause further anger among those who want Catalonia to break away, our correspondent adds.

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Conspicuously absent though was the region's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers, who travelled to Belgium after the central government imposed direct rule on Catalonia on Friday as the regional parliament declared independence.

Puigdemont and four ex-ministers are in Brussels and have ignored the summonses.

They include regional parliament speaker and prominent pro-independence activist Carme Forcadell, and 14 ousted Catalan government ministers including Mr Puigdemont.

Under Spain's legal system, investigating judges can order the detention of suspects while a comprehensive probe, sometimes taking months, determines if charges should be brought.

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