Spanish Attorney General José Manuel Maza [official profile] on Monday charged the former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont [official profile, in Catalan], and other top Catalan officials with rebellion, sedition, embezzlement and malfeasance related to the region’s declaration of independence last week.
Maza filed two separate complaints against the main Catalan political leaders, who declared independence [NYT report] on October 27. The first complaint [text, PDF] was filed against the members of the Catalan government, including Puigdemont, in the Audiencia Nacional [official website]. The second [text, PDF] was filed against members of the Permanent Deputation of the Catalan Parliament in the Tribunal Supremo [official website], which has the power to hear cases against the members of Parliament. Maza contends [press release, in Spanish] that the Tribunal Supremo retains jurisdiction over those defendants who are members of the Permanent Deputation despite the dissolution of the Catalan government.
After Catalonia declared independence, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy [official profile] fired Puigdemont, dissolved the Catalan Parliament, and invoked emergency measures under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution [text, PDF] in an attempt to take back Catalonia. Article 155 grants the national government authority to “take all measures necessary to compel” a self-governing region to meet obligations imposed by the national constitution where that community’s action is “seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain.”
If found guilty, Puigdemont and the other officials could face up to 30 years in prison [AP report].