1. ITV Report

European arrest warrant issued for ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and aides

Carles Puigdemont fled to Brussels after Spanish authorities removed him from office Credit: AP

A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, the ousted Catalan leader, and four aides who fled with him to Brussels.

National Court investigating judge Carmen Lamela filed the request with the Belgian prosecutor on Friday evening, and issued separate international search and arrest warrants to alert Europol in case the five flee Belgium.

According to the judge, the five are being sought for five different crimes, including rebellion, sedition and embezzlement in a Spanish investigation into their roles in pushing for secession for Catalonia.

Mr Puigdemont and his aides fled to Brussels after Spanish authorities removed him and his Cabinet from office for demanding independence.

The Spanish government, attempting to head off a political crisis sparked by the independence declaration, has called an early regional election for December 21.