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Fugitive Catalan chief seeks parliament protection for vote

A Spanish judge has ordered Carles Puigdemont’s arrest on possible rebellion and sedition charges.

Catalonia’s fugitive ex-president, Carles Puigdemont, has written to the region’s parliament in a bid to guarantee his right to attend a session this week in which he hopes to be re-elected government leader.

Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled on Saturday that Mr Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium following an illegal declaration of independence last October, must be present in parliament to be chosen as the region’s chief in Tuesday’s session – but risks arrest if he does so.

A Spanish judge has ordered Mr Puigdemont’s arrest on possible rebellion and sedition charges.

The Constitutional Court also said Mr Puigdemont must obtain court permission to attend the session.

Initially, Mr Puigdemont was expected to seek this permission, but his lawyer said this is unlikely. The lawyer did not rule out Mr Puigdemont’s attendance.

The Constitutional Court ruled the session would not be valid if Mr Puigdemont attends without the permit.

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