Spanish minister blames Puigdemont for incarceration of leaders
"Josep Borrell's remarks are an indecency," claims Catalan president
The Spanish foreign minister blamed the former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, for the incarceration of nine pro-independence leaders, ruled by Spain's Supreme Court.
According to Josep Borrell, the leader's move to Brussels right after the declaration of independence prompted magistrates to send his former cabinet colleagues to precautionary jail.
"The risk of flight increases if others have done it," he said in a Spanish Congress committee on Thursday evening. "Probably the biggest obstacle for the judge to having taken such a firm decision has been the fact that Mr. Puigdemont and others left their colleagues high and dry by absconding."
"It is very difficult to work so much against dialogue, as [Spanish foreign minister] Mr Borrell is doing"
Quim Torra · Catalan president
On Tuesday, Borrell said in an interview that he would have "personally" preferred the judge not to have sent any political leaders to prison.
Catalan president's reaction
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, called the Spanish minister's remarks an "indecency."
"It is very difficult to work so much against dialogue, as Mr. Borrell is doing," tweeted Torra. "We have had to look for justice outside Spain. The fact that Spain keeps the political prisoners in jail is, honestly, an act of vengeance."
In pre-trial jail for 11 months
Due to the open judicial case against some 25 Catalan leaders for the events leading to an independence referendum and declaration, some officials were jailed.
At the moment, nine of the prosecuted leaders are behind bars awaiting a trial. Four of them have been in jail for almost 11 months now.