Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has given a press conference in Brussels just days after Madrid quashed his deceleration of independence. Jacob Greaves reports.
Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is now holed up Belgium- but he's not exactly laying low. Madrid took over his regional government after their calls for independence. Now speaking in Brussels- the heart of the EU- he used his new base to attack the Spainish state - (SOUNDBITE) (English) SACKED PRESIDENT CARLES PUIGDEMONT SAYING: Some members of the government travelled to Brussels with me as the legitimate president to make the European institutions aware of the Catalan problem and to denounce here the politicization of Spanish justice, the absence of impartiality." Here Puidgemont said he was not seeking asylum in Belgium- putting to bed widespread speculation. But he's still chosen a Flemish lawyer with history fighting extradition cases against Spain. At a press briefing Paul Bekaert fired a warning shot, saying "I know the Spanish reaction very well, I know their psychology and their mentality" That might come in handy- Spain's prosecutor has called for charges of rebellion to be laid against Puidgemont. That could mean up to 30 years in prison. The country's Supreme Court has also started rebellion proceedings against the Catalan parliament speaker and other senior lawmakers. Puidgement declared an independent Catalan Republic on Friday. ...Madrid stepped in- overturning the ruling, sacking Puidgemont and imposing direct rule on the autonomous region. That hasn't led to widespread resistance- with the secessionist leadership seemingly in disarray.