Catalonia’s axed leader ‘in Brussels’

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont attends a session at the Catalan parliament in Barcelona on October 26, 2017. (File photo by AFP)
Updated 30 October 2017
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Catalonia’s axed leader ‘in Brussels’

MADRID: Catalonia’s dismissed separatist leader Carles Puigdemont was in Brussels on Monday, a Spanish government source said, as prosecutors called for him to be charged with rebellion over his drive for Catalan independence.
The news came as Madrid took political control of Catalonia after declaring that Puigdemont and his separatist regional administration were dismissed on Friday, following the Catalan parliament’s independence declaration.
On Sunday Belgium’s immigration minister suggested Puigdemont could receive asylum in Belgium on the grounds that he might not get a fair trial in Spain.
On Monday the Spanish government source told AFP that Puigdemont “is in Brussels.”
Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported that he was accompanied by others from his former administration.
Puigdemont, 54, said the result of an outlawed independence referendum on October 1 gave the region a mandate to declare independence.
Madrid and the Spanish courts said the referendum was illegal and that a unilateral independence declaration would violate the constitution.
Belgian immigration minister Theo Francken, a member of the Flemish separatist N-VA party, said Sunday it was “not unrealistic” that Belgium could offer protection to Puigdemont.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said an asylum request from Puigdemont was “absolutely not on the agenda.”
The European Union has backed the Spanish government in the Catalan independence dispute.


Pakistan’s anti-graft agency arrests opposition leader Khursheed Shah

Updated 18 September 2019

Pakistan’s anti-graft agency arrests opposition leader Khursheed Shah

  • Shah will be presented to court in Sukkur for remand on Thursday
  • Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police

KARACHI: Pakistan’s anti-graft agency said on Wednesday it had arrested opposition Pakistan People’s Party leader Khursheed Shah over questions around the source of his income.
“NAB’s Sukkur chapter has arrested Syed Khursheed Shah over ‘assets beyond means’,” the National Accountability Bureau said in a statement, refering to a class of case in which a defendant is accused of possessing assets higher than their known sources of income.
Shah will be presented to court in Sukkur for remand on Thursday, an official statement said.
The opposition stalwart was arrested in a joint operation by NAB’s Rawalpindi and Sukkur chapters, Pakistan’s DawnNewsTV reported. He will remain in custody on Wednesday evening.
Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police during a raid at his Islamabad home, the domestic staff at his house told DawnNewsTV.