A court in Catalonia on Tuesday summoned the leader of the wealthy region for questioning for allegedly defying a constitutional court order and organizing a symbolic referendum on Catalan independence last November. The High Court of Justice of Catalonia called on regional President Artur Mas to appear Oct. 15 to explain his role in the symbolic vote in which 2.3 million people participated. The court is investigating a criminal complaint filed last year by Spain’s attorney general against Mr. Mas and two other Catalan officials shortly after the vote. The three officials were charged with four crimes each, including contempt of court and misappropriation of funds.
Tuesday’s move came just two days after secessionist candidates won a majority of seats, and just under 48% of the popular vote, in closely watched parliamentary elections cast as a plebiscite on independence.
Mr. Mas is now involved in sensitive negotiations to try to retain his post as president in the next government. To be installed again, Mr. Mas needs the backing of a small, radical left secessionist party, the Popular Unity Candidacy or CUP, which has so far rejected the idea of supporting the centrist, pro-business Mr. Mas.