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News Link • Spain

Catalan President Won't Return to Spain to Face Charges

• by Jason Ditz

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium on Monday amid Spain's takeover of his region, says he intends to ignore a court order by Spain to appear in court on charges of sedition and rebellion against the Spanish crown.

Puigdemont signed Catalonia's declaration of independence, which was finalized Friday in a 70-10 vote by parliament. Spain took over the region on Monday, however, and intends to hold elections to install a new regional government.

The charges against Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders appear intended to preclude them from running for reelection in the new elections. Puigdemont has said he is open to testifying in Spain's trial from within Belgium.

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