We all knew it would come down to this: Sacked Catalonia Ministers Held by Madrid Court.

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region's push for independence. Prosecutors had asked the judge to detain eight of the nine former regional government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid.

They are accused of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds. Prosecutors are also seeking a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up in court in Madrid as requested, but have been in Belgium since Monday.

Detained

  • Former Deputy Vice President Oriol Junqueras
  • Former Interior Minister Joaquim Forn
  • Former Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva
  • Former Justice Minister Carles Mundó
  • Former Labour Minister Dolors Bassa
  • Former Government Presidency Councillor Jordi Turull
  • Former Sustainable Development Minister Josep Rull
  • Former Culture Minister Meritxell Borras

In a statement broadcast on Catalan TV from an undisclosed location in Belgium, Mr. Puigdemont described the detention of the eight ex-ministers as "an act that breaks with the basic principles of democracy".

What's Next?

If Spain's high court judge issues a warrant, a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) will be sent to Belgian prosecutors, who have 24 hours to decide whether the paperwork is correct. If they do, they then have 15 days to arrest Mr. Puigdemont and the four others. If one or all of them appeals against it, that process could last another 15 days.

Belgium has a maximum of 60 days to return the suspects to Spain after an arrest. But if the suspects do not raise legal objections, a transfer could happen within a few days.

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

A country can reject an EU arrest warrant if it fears that extradition would violate the suspect's human rights. Discrimination based on politics, religion or race is grounds for refusal. So are fears that the suspect would not get a fair trial.

There is an agreed EU list of 32 offenses - in Article Two of the EAW law - for which there is no requirement for the offense to be a crime in both countries. In other words, any of those offenses can be a justification for extradition, provided the penalty is at least three years in jail.

However, neither "sedition" nor "rebellion" - two of the Spanish accusations against the Catalan leaders - are on that list.

Two Country Solution

Flashback November 18, 2014: Spanish Parliament Easily Passes Measure Recognizing Palestinian State

Flashback November 28, 2012: Palestinians Win Support From Spain, Switzerland, Denmark for UN Vote

Flash Forward November 2, 2017: Spain arrests Catalan leaders for holding a peaceful independence vote. 90% voted for independence.

Proper Position

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Former Catalan Leader Charles Puigdemont Released on Bail in Germany

Spain was hoping Germany would extradite Puigdemont but the German court said no dice.

New Elections in Catalonia Coming: By Force or Peacefully?

In a letter to prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont asks Spain to end “repression of the Catalan people”. Puigdemont still did not say whether or not Catalonia declared independence. Meanwhile, a prosecutor seeks to hold Catalan police chief in prison with no bail.

Uncharted Territory, Spain to Take Over Catalonia Government: What's the Libertarian Position?

Madrid will suspend Catalonia autonomy on Saturday after Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, refused to back down from a declaration of independence. What happens next is unknown. Spain fears violence but it may force new regional elections nonetheless. This is uncharted territory.

Catalonia Vice President Says "No Choice" But Declare Independence

The crisis in Spain has reached the critical phase with neither Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy nor Catalan President Carles Puigdemont willing to back down. Article 155 takes effect on Friday with Spain taking over the Catalan government at that time. A declaration of independence may come first.

Spain Extradition Request Violates Schengen: Belgium Coalition Splinters, Catalonia Support Surfaces

Madrid's extradition request for exiled Catalan leader Charles Puigdemont has hit two major snags. First, it violates Schengen political asylum rules. Second, the Belgium government is in a fragile 4-way coalition, and one of the parties openly supports Puigdemont.

Spain Gives Catalonia a 5-Day Warning: What Really Happened Yesterday? Majority Math Fake News

There's a lot of confusion over yesterday's announcement by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Did Puigdemont declare independence or not? Many are confused, especially in Madrid. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy gave Catalonia 5 days to clarify.

Rajoy Boxed In With Losing Options: Catalonia Suspends Independence Declaration

The Catalan parliament met Tuesday afternoon. Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont asked parliament to suspend the effects of Catalonia voting “yes” for independence to hold talks with Spain.

Catalonia Independence Parties in Lead for December 21 Election

Spain dissolved the Catalan Parliament following its declaration of independence. Separatists have lead latest polls.

Catalonia Parliament Votes 70-10 for Independence: Best Wishes to Catalonia, the Nation

Friday morning, the Catalan parliament voted 70-10 to declare independence from Spain. In return, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy demands direct rule. How will Rajoy accomplish that?