01192020What's Hot:

Spain’s Attorney General, Leading Catalan Prosecution, Falls Ill and Dies

Mr. Maza was nominated as attorney general by Mr. Rajoy’s government just a year ago. The government will choose a replacement who will undergo a parliamentary review in a process expected to take at least three weeks.

Until that is completed, Luis Navajas, a prosecutor before the Supreme Court, was expected to act as interim attorney general.

Mr. Maza was known as a conservative who put himself on the front line in the fight against Catalan secessionism. In September, he warned Mr. Puigdemont in a radio interview that the Catalan leader could be detained if he pushed ahead with his separatist plans.

On Oct. 27, Spain’s government took administrative control of Catalonia, ousting Mr. Puigdemont and his regional government, after separatist lawmakers voted for Catalonia’s independence in their regional Parliament, in violation of Spain’s Constitution.

A few days later, Mr. Puigdemont and members of his former cabinet arrived in Brussels, where they have been fighting against an international arrest warrant issued by Spain, asserting that Madrid could not guarantee a fair trial.

A criminal court judge ordered eight of the Catalan politicians, who appeared in court in Madrid to be jailed without bail, pending a full trial. Separately, another judge from the Supreme Court granted bail this month to five other Catalan lawmakers awaiting trial on rebellion charges.

Another two separatist leaders have been jailed since mid-October as part of an earlier prosecution led by Mr. Maza; their jailing had been prompted by their involvement in a street protest in Barcelona that left Spanish police officers trapped for several hours inside a government building.

Mr. Rajoy paid homage to Mr. Maza for what he called in a post on Twitter “a life of work at the service of the state.”

In an opinion piece, Mr. Catalá, the justice minister, said that Mr. Maza had been “a man aware of the enormous treasure that we have as Spaniards, our Constitution.”

Source: NYT > World

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