Spain's Director of Public Prosecutions, José Manuel Maza, announced shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday that his office was preparing criminal charges against all the members of the Catalan government and those members of the Catalan Parliament's Speaker's Committee who had organised the passage of the referendum bill through the regional parliament on Wednesday.

The charges would be "at least" contempt, abuse of authority and misuse of public funds.

"As Director of Public Prosecutions, I want to let public opinion know about the actions this office is carrying out in defence of the rul...