Spanish court orders detention of 8 former Catalan ministers

Sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont in Brussels on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Carles Puigdemont remains in Belgium
  • Several former ministers in Catalan government attend hearing

(CNN)Spain's high court has ordered eight former ministers from Catalonia's dissolved government to be detained without bail, while the state prosecutor sought a Europe-wide arrest warrant for ousted leader Carles Puigdemont.

Puigdemont left Spain and appeared in Brussels on Monday, the same day Spain's state prosecutor announced he was seeking charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds against him and 13 ex-ministers.
    The high court, known as the the Audiencia Nacional, summoned Puigdemont and the former ministers over their contentious independence drive, but only nine of them turned up at the session Thursday, and without Puigdemont.
    The judge ordered eight be remanded in custody, while the ninth was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000).
    Jaume Alonso Cuevillas, the lawyer for most of the former ministers, said the decision was "politically motivated" and "disproportionate," arguing that judge could have simply seized their passports to stop them from leaving the country.