The Latest: Judge jails 2 Catalan independence leaders

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Posted: Oct 16, 2017 3:39 PM
The Latest: Judge jails 2 Catalan independence leaders

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Spain-Catalonia political crisis (all times local):

9:25 p.m.

A Spanish judge has ordered two leaders of Catalonia's pro-independence movement jailed while they are being investigated on possible charges of sedition.

The judge jailed Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly and Jordi Cuixart of the Omnium Cultural group after questioning them and two senior law enforcement officials on Monday.

The National Court in Madrid is investigating the roles the four played during demonstrations in Barcelona on Sept. 20-21. Spanish police arrested several Catalan officials and raided offices on those dates as part of the central government's crackdown on preparations for an Oct. 1 referendum on Catalan independence.

Earlier on Monday, the judge ruled that Catalan regional police chief Maj. Josep Lluis Trapero and colleague Lt. Teresa Laplana could remain free under several conditions. They include surrendering their passports and agreeing to appear in court every two weeks.

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6:50 p.m.

A Spanish judge says Catalonia's regional police chief may remain free with restrictions in a sedition case tied to the region's staging of a banned Oct. 1 independence referendum.

The National Court judge on Monday rejected a prosecutor's request to jail Major Josep Lluis Trapero. But the judge withdrew Trapero's passport, said he must remain in Spain and ordered him to appear in court every two weeks.

Trapero, another regional police officer and the leaders of two pro-independence associations are under investigation for sedition for their roles in Sept. 20-21 demonstrations in Barcelona.

Spanish police arrested several Catalan officials and raided offices in a crackdown on referendum preparations during the demonstrations.

The court said the rulings could be changed if Trapero disobeys the conditions.

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3:45 p.m.

A Spanish prosecutor is asking for Catalonia's regional police chief to be jailed in a sedition case related to the staging of Catalonia's banned Oct. 1 secession referendum.

Maj. Josep Lluis Trapero testified for about two hours at Madrid's National Court on Monday, following which the court prosecutor recommended he be sent to prison provisionally without bail. The judge will decide on the request after 6 p.m. (1600 GMT).

Trapero, another regional police offer and the leaders of two pro-independence associations are under investigation for sedition for their roles in Sept. 20-21 demonstrations in Barcelona as Spanish police arrested several Catalan officials and raided offices in a crackdown on referendum preparations.

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10:10 a.m.

Spain's deputy prime minister says that Catalonia's leader didn't give an adequate response in his letter about the region's independence and has until Thursday to comply with the country's laws.

Carles Puigdemont's letter, issued two hours before a Monday deadline, didn't clarify whether he in fact declared Catalonia's independence from Spain. He called for talks with Spain's government.

Spain's central government wanted a simple "yes" or "no" answer from Puigdemont, something that Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that he didn't provide.

Saenz de Santamaria said in an address to reporters that "it wasn't very difficult to say yes or no. That was the question that was asked and the response shouldn't be complicated."

She said he has until Thursday morning to fall in line, or faces the possibility of Spain activating Article 155 of the Constitution which would allow the central government to take over parts of Catalonia's self-governance.

She said that Puigdemont's call for dialogue is "not credible" and that Spain's national parliament is the place to talk.

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8:45 a.m.

Two senior Catalan regional police force officers and the leaders of two pro-independence associations are in court again, facing possible sedition charges related to the staging of the region's banned Oct. 1 secession referendum.

The sedition case is investigating the roles of the four in Sept. 20-21 demonstrations in Barcelona as Spanish police arrested several Catalan officials and raided offices in a crackdown on referendum preparations.

The four include Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero and Jordi Sanchez, the head of the Catalan National Assembly.

The appearance at the National Court in Madrid on Monday coincided with the release of a letter from Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in which he didn't clarify whether he declared Catalonia's independence from Spain last week. Spain's government had given him a Monday deadline to respond explicitly whether he proclaimed independence.

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8:35 a.m.

Catalonia's leader hasn't clarified whether he declared independence from Spain in a letter to the central government and has renewed a call for dialogue.

Last week, Spain had set a Monday deadline for Carles Puigdemont to explicitly say whether or not he proclaimed that Catalonia was breaking away from Spain.

Puigdemont held a banned independence referendum on Oct. 1 and then made an ambiguous declaration of independence last week. He then immediately suspended the declaration to allow time for talks and mediation.

In Monday's letter, Puigdemont didn't answer "yes" or "no" to the question "have you declared independence in Catalonia" as demanded by the Spanish government. He called for two months of dialogue and requested that Spanish authorities halt "all repression" in Catalonia.