November 5, 2017 / 11:34 AM / a year ago

Brussels prosecutors to speak on ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Brussels prosecutors will hold a news conference at 1300 GMT on sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by Spain, a spokesman for the Belgian authority said on Sunday.

Warrants for rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust relating to Catalonia’s independence campaign concern Puigdemont and four of his associates who fled to Belgium after Madrid’s central government imposed direct rule in the autonomous region.

“We will give a press conference at 2 p.m. (local time). I can’t confirm the arrests of the five people,” spokesman Gilles Dejemeppe said.

According to Belgian procedures, prosecutors must bring suspects to a judge, who has 24 hours to decide whether or not to approve the arrest warrant. Appeals can stretch the process to as long as 45 days.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Mark Heinrich

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