Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said on Tuesday that he and other officials from the semi-autonomous region will face up to charges from the Spanish government in connection with the independence referendum.
“None of us have abandoned our government; we haven’t abandoned our work … we will face up to these charges. We have this responsibility and we won’t shy away from it,” Mr. Puigdemont said in Brussels.
Mr. Puigdemont said he was seeking guarantees from the Spanish government that would determine if and when he returned to Catalonia.
“Right now the government can’t ensure a fair outcome … if we can have these guarantees there is no doubt I would go back home,” he said.
On Monday, Spain’s public prosecutor, Jose Manuel Maza, called for Mr. Puigdemont, Vice President Oriol Junqueras and other Catalan officials to be charged in connection with the October 1 independence referendum.
Following the referendum, the Catalan parliament decided last week to secede from Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy deposed the entire Catalan government in response, and the senate voted to invoke of Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, giving the central government authority to administer the region.
The officials now face charges of rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds.
Mr. Puigdemont said the five officials left Barcelona to avoid “further confrontation or any possible clashes” with Spanish officials.
“The five ministers I’m with [in Brussels] have no protection,” he added.
Spanish Prosecutor Calls for Sedition Charges Against Catalan Leaders