Spain's Top Court Warns Mas Over Ignoring Catalonia Injunction

  • Catalan leaders risk suspension if they defy Spain's top court
  • Regional parliament declared start of secession process Monday

Spain’s Constitutional Court said it would inform Catalonia’s acting separatist president, Artur Mas, about the potential consequences of ignoring moves to halt the region’s bid for independence.

The court decided to hear Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s challenge to a motion passed by the regional parliament declaring the start of the secession process, the tribunal said by e-mail. Judges now have up to five months to rule.

The Catalan leader is raising the stakes in his tussle with the Spanish government as he seeks the support of the anti-capitalist separatist party CUP to stay in office for a third term. Under the Spanish constitution, any legal suit filed by the central government immediately freezes the law it is challenging.

“The tribunal warns them of their duty to block or freeze any action intended to ignore or sidestep the agreed suspension,” the court said in its statement. Mas and his allies “eventually may face responsibilities, including criminal ones,” it said.

A spokeswoman for the Catalan government, Neus Munte, said in televised remarks from Barcelona that the regional government intends to apply the motion passed by its assembly.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rajoy stressed the central government would do all it can to block Catalonia’s quest for independence. “They are trying to liquidate Spanish sovereignty,” he said in a televised press conference.

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