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Ousted Catalan Leader in Brussels as Spanish Prosecutors Seek Charges


Deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is seen after wrapping up a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 31, 2017.

Ousted Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont says he will not be seeking asylum in Belgium, a day after he traveled there, while Spanish prosecutors announced plans to seek sedition, rebellion and embezzlement charges against Catalan leaders.

Puigdemont said Tuesday in Brussels, "I am not here in order to demand asylum," saying he was there "for safety purposes and freedom." But he did not specify how long he would stay.

Chief prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza said Monday he would seek to charge the leaders of Catalonia who led a push to secede from Spain. It is up to a court to decide whether to move forward with the charges, which could bring lengthy jail terms, including up to 30 years for rebellion.

WATCH: Catalan leaders flee to Belgium

Catalan Independence Leaders Flee to Belgium as Spain Seeks Rebellion Charges
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A disputed referendum in Catalonia on October 1 ended with a vote for the autonomous region to break away from Spain.

The government in Madrid rejected the secession push, and after Catalan lawmakers declared independence last week the central government asserted control over the region and dissolved the local parliament.

New elections are set for December, and Catalonia's separatist party announced it would field candidates.

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