Spain's Director of Public Prosecutions, José Manuel Maza, has died aged 66 in Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, confirmed in a tweet.

"The Director of Public Prosecutions, José Manuel Maza Martin, has died. My recognition and thanks for a life of work in the service of the state. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Rest in Peace. MR."

"Rest in Peace José Manuel Maza. An extraordinary jurist and public servant. Justice and the law lose one of their most notable professionals. RC", wrote Justice Minister Rafael Catalá.

Mr. Maza had been attending a congress of Ibero-American public prosecutors in the Argentine capital.

Earlier on Saturday, Spanish media reported he had been hospitalised with a kidney infection and, although his life was reported not to be in danger, he had been taken to an intensive care unit.

Mr. Maza was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions at the end of 2016, after Mariano Rajoy was reappointed Prime Minister following a year-long political stalemate in Spain, unresolved by two general elections.

During the recent separatist crisis in Catalonia, he first announced criminal accusations against the regional government of Carles Puigdemont on September 7, after the Catalan Parliament passed referendum and secession bills.

On September 22, the Public Prosecutor's Office announced charges of sedition against the chairmen of the Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sánchez, Omnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the former Catalan Police (Mossos) chief, Josep Lluis Trapero.

Three days after the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain on October 27, Mr. Maza made a brief public statement to announce his office would file accusations against the former Catalan government and the Speaker's Committee of the Catalan Parliament for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

José Manuel Maza was born on October 23, 1951, in Madrid, and was formerly a Supreme Court judge before being appointed Director of Public Prosecutions, and held degrees in law and history from the Complutense University.

El País reported he was accompanied by his wife during their trip to Buenos Aires.