MADRID (AFP) – Spanish prosecutors said Wednesday they will take legal action against Catalan president Artur Mas after he went ahead with a symbolic independence referendum in defiance of a court injunction.
“The public prosecutor’s office will take the appropriate legal actions in the High Court of Justice of Catalonia,” the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The Catalan government says 2.3 million people took part in the vote on November 9 which Mas held following a legal block by the central government against his plans to hold an official, non-binding referendum on the issue that day.
The ballot was organised by over 41,000 volunteers with voting stations set up in town halls and schools across the wealthy northeastern region. It has triggered the biggest clash between Catalonia and the central government since Spain returned to democracy following the death of longtime dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975.
Prosecutors have not yet decided which crimes Mas will be accused of but Spain’s Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce has said he could be charged with civil disobedience, abuse of power, usurpation of duties and embezzlement of public funds.