Catalan public television, TV3, published extracts from a statement from the "legitimate government of Catalonia" in Brussels on Wednesday evening that denounced the accusations presented against Carles Puigdemont and 13 other former regional ministers and the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, and five former members of her Speaker's Committee.

The statement said Mr. Puigdemont and a group of former regional ministers would be staying in Brussels to "denounce this political trial" abroad, implying they would not return to Madrid by 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, when they have been ordered to appear at the National High Court.

The statement said the prosecutor's accusations—for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds—were a "political trial" and the potential sentences—rebellion carries a maximum term of 30 years in jail—"disproportionate".

The statement says Puigdemont and the others are not staying in Brussels "to evade justice but rather to demand it". It suggests the group will attempt to answer the judge's questions from Brussels "using the mechanisms already foreseen in the European Union for these circumstances".

"The commitment of this government with the defence of the rights and freedoms of the Catalan people is total."