Spain’s constitutional court on Saturday announced it was blocking Catalonia’s ousted separatist leader Carles Puigdemont from returning to power in the region while he remains the subject of legal action.
The court said in a statement that its 12 magistrates had decided unanimously “to preventively suspend the investiture of Puigdemont unless he appears in the (regional) parliament in person with prior judicial authorisation”.
Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium after the Catalan parliament declared independence in October, was earlier this week chosen as a candidate to lead Catalonia again, with the regional parliament set to vote for a new leader on Tuesday in Barcelona.
However, he faces arrest for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his attempt to break Catalonia away from Spain as soon as he returns to the country.
Puigdemont has said he could be sworn into office remotely via video conference from Brussels, a plan Spain’s central government opposes.
He has also said he would rather return to Spain, but without any risk of arrest.
The constitutional court warned all members of the Catalan parliament of “their responsibilities” and warned against disobeying the order to suspend any investiture.
The magistrates said they needed six more days to consider a government bid to annul the nomination of Puigdemont as a candidate for the regional presidency.
“The government must use every tool made available by the laws and the constitution to make sure that a fugitive, someone who is on the run from the law and the courts, cannot be illegitimately be sworn in,” Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Friday after the government lodged the legal bid to keep Puigdemont from returning to power.
After the court’s announcement, Puigdemont tweeted that “even the constitutional court has rejected the tricks of Moncloa,” referring to the prime minister’s official residence.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Twitter that “the government would continue to do its duty in respecting the law”.
Catalonia’s ousted separatist government pushed ahead with an independence referendum on October 1 despite it having been banned by the Constitutional Court.
It won the public vote but Catalonia’s independence declaration on October 27 was short-lived as Rajoy moved to stop the crisis in a region deeply divided over secession.
He imposed direct rule on the semi-autonomous region, sacked its government including Puigdemont, dissolved its parliament and called snap elections.
Source: ( AFP )
Court To Begin Nnamdi Kanu’s ‘Treason’ Trial In Absentia
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, is set to commence the trial of the leader of the Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The trial of the IPOB leader has been scheduled for November 26th and will see five prosecution witnesses lined up to testify against Kanu.
This was disclosed in a hearing notice served on the prosecution team in the office of the attorney general and Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
Court Orders Reps Member To Produce Fleeing Maina’s Son Within Nine Days
Faisal is being prosecuted before the court on money laundering related offences and was granted bail in 2019.
Honorable Galadima who is representing Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State is standing surety for Faisal after signing a N60 million bond.
Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Wednesday ordered Dan Galadima, who was present in court, to show cause by December 4 why he should either not forfeit the N60 million he pledged while taking Faisal on bail, or be sent to prison until he is able to produce the defendant.
Recall that on Monday, Justice Abang sentenced Senator Ali Ndume who is a surety for the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team who has also jumped bail.
Lawyer Dumps Maina, Applies To Quit Case
Adeola Adedipe, a lawyer hired by Abulrasheed Maina, ex-Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), in his ongoing trial for money laundering, has applied to quit the case.
Maina’s lawyer who is also representing the company of the former PRTT Chairman – Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, informed a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja at the resumption of proceedings in the case on Wednesday, that he has filed a notice, indicating his intention to withdraw from further representing his client.
Adedipe revealed that his brief has not been perfected due to the failure of his client to pay.
He apologised to the federal court presided over Justice Okon Abang for being absent from proceedings during some of the recent adjournments.
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