Catalan leader and advisers turn themselves in

Catalonia’s deposed leader Carles Puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in to Belgian police, a prosecutors’ spokesperson says.

The five were freed late on Sunday evening after being questioned.

An investigating judge will decide by Monday morning whether to execute an EU arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge last week.

Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium after Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia following an independence referendum.

He has said he will not return to Spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial.

He and his four associates are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust after the referendum a Spanish court deemed unconstitutional.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia, dissolved the regional parliament and called local elections for December 21.

Mr Puigdemont’s associates who are also listed on the arrest warrant are Meritxell Serret (former agriculture minister), Antoni Comín (former health minister), Lluís Puig (former culture minister), and Clara Ponsatí (former education minister).

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