Spain’s top court has summoned the speaker of the regional parliament in Catalonia to file charges against the secessionist leader.
The Supreme Court in Madrid said on Tuesday that Carme Forcadell and her parliamentary deputies should appear in court on November 2 and 3 for questioning.
It said in a statement that the former officials would be charged over an independence drive in Catalonia.
Forcadell has been among main leaders promoting independence in Catalonia, a move which sparked a serious political crisis in Spain after a referendum on October 1. The vote, which was held amid unprecedented violence, gave the regional legislature the mandate for declaring independence.
The Spanish government, which had labeled the entire independence process as illegal, moved to dismantle Catalonia’s government on Saturday and take over control of the region after the parliament formally declared independence. Carles Puigdemont, the leader of Catalonia, was dismissed from his role while Madrid called for fresh elections to appoint a new administration in Catalonia.
In an apparent gesture of bowing to Spain’s pressures, Puigdemont said on Tuesday that he would accept snap elections on December 21. Spain’s state prosecutor has recommended charges for rebellion and sedition be brought against Puigdemont, who is now in Brussels. The defiant Catalan politician said he would return home “immediately” if a fair judicial process was guaranteed, adding that he was not seeking asylum in Belgium.
Puigdemont vowed, however, that Catalonia’s move toward independence was not over, saying victory would come at the end of “a long road.”
“I ask the Catalan people to prepare for a long road. Democracy will be the foundation of our victory,” he said.
The independence drive in Catalonia, one of Spain’s most prosperous regions, has pushed Spain toward its gravest political crisis in decades. Major governments, including those in the European Union, have said that they will never recognize secession of Catalonia from Spain while calling on the two sides of the conflict to engage in dialogue to resolve differences.