Puigdemont skips court appearance, but will cooperate with authorities - lawyer

Removed Catalonian President Ignores Subpoena from Spanish Justice

The six had been summoned to court for questioning by a judge.

"It is better to take some distance", Paul Bekaert told Reuters, adding that "the climate is not good".

Instead, Puigdemont and four of his colleagues traveled to Brussels in Belgium and hired a lawyer.

If Mr Puigdemont fails to appear before the court, an arrest warrant could be issued that would in turn prevent him from standing in the snap regional election called by the Spanish government for 21 December.

A decision on a warrant for his arrest is expected to follow the testimonies of the remaining nine members of Puigdemont's sacked cabinet who have appeared in court.

Papa John's Pulls NFL Ads: Anthem Protests Are Hurting Business
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Reports say the Catalan leaders standing trial in Madrid have been denied bail and there are growing fears that it may trigger fresh uprising among those clamouring for the Catalonia break away. With Puigdemont and four others in Belgium, only 15 turned up.

Both lawyers said they would appeal the judge's order.

The summons, issued Wednesday, came after Spain's chief prosecutor called for charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement to be brought against Puigdemont and other members of the Catalan government and parliament for their roles in a pro-independence movement and declaration of independence.

The Supreme Court agreed on Thursday to give one more week to Forcadell and the Catalan lawmakers to prepare their defence and a new hearing will take place on November 9.

Five other senior members of the Catalan parliament, as well as Speaker Carme Forcadell, are facing the same charges but, because of their parliamentary immunity, their cases are being handled by the Supreme Court which has yet to hold a hearing.

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