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How Catalonia's Bid for Independence From Spain Unfolded

06 November 2017

Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has turned himself in to police, Belgium's public broadcaster VRT said on Sunday, citing a source.

A Spanish judge has now issued a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont in response to a request by Spanish state prosecutors.

The five former officials are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust.

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Earlier on Friday, Puigdemont told Belgian RTBF broadcaster that his prompt departure for Brussels was not actually "fleeing" Catalonia, as he was ready to participate in the snap elections, Madrid scheduled following the crackdown on his regional government.

Madrid:A Spanish judge issued an European Union arrest warrant for Catalonia's deposed separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, a day after he failed to appear for questioning over his role in the region's tumultuous independence drive.

A spokesman for the Brussels' prosecutor's office, Gilles Dejemeppe, said the five presented themselves to federal police and have been in custody since 9am local time.

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Shortly after the decision, Puigdemont said on Twitter that the "legitimate government of Catalonia had been sent to jail for its ideas and for having been faithful to the mandate approved by the parliament of Catalonia". The ninth spent a night behind bars before posting bail and being released. He was arrested with four other members of the Catalan government who did not appear before a Spanish high court Thursday.

Prosecutors had asked Investigative Magistrate Carmen Lamela to order the immediate detention of Puigdemont and four of his ex-ministers, who ignored court summonses to appear for questioning on Thursday over their role in an independence referendum.

"If we add the issue of independence, we won't get as many people to support us", said Mas, who was the first Catalan leader to harness the political momentum for secession.

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October 30: Puigdemont arrives in Brussels, Belgium, after fleeing Spain. A judge of the Spain's National Court remanded in jail yesterday accused of sedition Jordi Sanchez, president of the Pro-independence organization Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and Jordi Cuixart, leader of Omnium Cultural.

How Catalonia's Bid for Independence From Spain Unfolded