The National High Court in Madrid and the Supreme Court have both agreed to investigate the Public Prosecutor's accusations of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds against the former First Minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and all of his former regional ministers, and the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, and five former members of her Speaker's Committee in the regional chamber.
An investigating judge at the National High Court, Carmen Lamela, has ordered Mr. Puigdemont and all 13 of his former regional ministers (Oriol Junqueras, Raul Romeva, etc.) to appear before that court on Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3, at 9 a.m., to begin to answer questions.
At approximately the same time, 9:30 a.m., on the same days, Thursday and Friday, the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, and those five members of her former regional Speakers' Committee have been ordered to appear by another investigating judge, Pablo Llarena, at the Supreme Court.
Additionally, Mr. Puigdemont and his 13 former ministers have been ordered to post a €6.2 million civil liabilities deposit between them by Friday or face the seizure of their property.
In the accusations presented before the courts, the Public Prosecutor's Office included events going back to November 9, 2015 as being related to the process in Catalonia that led to a declaration of independence from Spain on Friday, October 27, 2017.
In its ruling accepting the investigation, the Supreme Court said that even if rebellion were not in the end proven, conspiracy to commit rebellion—a different article of the Spanish Criminal Code with a lower sentence—might be.
Carmen Lamela is the same judge who is investigating the chairmen of the Catalan National Assembly and Ominium Cultural, Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart, and former Catalan Police chief Josep Lluis Trapero, for sedition.
In her ruling accepting the investigation into Mr. Puigdemont and his former ministers, Judge Lamela confirms several or them are members of Òmnium Cultural (Raul Romeva, Jordi Turull, Dolors Bassa) or the Catalan National Assembly (Carla Ponsatí).
Joaquin Form, the former regional interior minister, is a member of both the ANC and Òmnium Cultural.
Judge Lamela also highlights the part of the Public Prosecutor's accusation related to the "declaration of independence and the exclusive assumption of control over the Catalan Police [Mossos], which implicitly supposes the potential use of that armed force against those who might try to enforce the Spanish Constitution in Catalonia".
The Supreme Court, and not the National High Court, is investigating the Speaker and her colleagues because they still enjoy special legal privilege under the Spanish criminal law system as members of the standing committee of the regional parliament until the December 21 election process has concluded.
The Associated Press reported Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert, hired by Mr. Puigdemont, had told the VTM television network that “he is not going to Madrid”, adding that “as things look now, I cannot see him going back in the next few weeks”.
Some of those who are to be investigated began tweeting that they had received formal notification of the order to appear before the judges in Madrid tomorrow.
Former Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull said: "At 10:30 a.m., I have received the notification to be at the National High Court in less than 24 hours. State of law. Conscience very clear".