Ousted Catalan Leaders Turn Themselves in to Belgian Police

Demonstrators holding banners reading in Catalan ‘freedom for political prisoners’ gather outside the Palau Generalitat during a protest against the decision of a judge to jail ex-members of the Catalan government in Barcelona Spain

A Spanish judge is planning to issue an arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemonton Friday, judicial sources have told several media outlets.

The five Catalan politicians who fled to Belgium after Spanish authorities removed them from office on October 28 were taken into custody Sunday on European arrest warrants issued after they failed to show up in Madrid last week for questioning.

The broadcaster says the four deposed cabinet ministers also reported to police. A judge ordered jail for eight ousted members of the Catalan government on November 2.

They will go before a judge who will have until Monday morning to decide the next step, which could include executing arrest warrants against the men or imposing bail requirements, said Gilles Dejemeppe, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office. A ninth spent a night in jail and was freed after posting bail.

Puigdemont and his allies failed to appear at a high court hearing in Madrid on Thursday.

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Whether in Brussels or Barcelona, Puigdemont is at the heart of political jockeying for position to start a campaign that promises to be as bitter as it is decisive to Spain's worst institutional crisis in almost four decades. While he remains a supporter of an secession he has advocated a negotiated solution with the central government.

An opinion poll published on Tuesday showed Junts Pel Si would win in December with 35.2 percent if the vote was held immediately and would likely reach a parliamentary majority if it stuck with its current pact with far-left party CUP.

They had fled to Belgium this week after being removed from power by Spanish authorities as part of an extraordinary crackdown to impede the region's illegal declaration of independence.

He has said he wanted to stand as the leading candidate for Puigdemont's PdeCat (Catalan Democratic party) in the regional election. He worked his way up to Catalan parliament and represented the political movement for independence. 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.

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