Searches, arrests in Catalonia amid widening probe
MADRID – Police in Barcelona have searched the seat of the Catalan regional government as part of a widening probe on the funding of last year’s banned Catalan referendum on independence from Spain.
A Civil Guard spokesman said agents also arrested a regional official in charge of the Catalan government’s public campaigns, after raiding his office and home. The official spoke anonymously in line with internal rules.
The Civil Guard, acting on the order of a judge, also searched the office of a pro-independence activist group, Omnium Cultural, whose former leader was preventively jailed last year on preliminary charges of hampering police work to halt the Oct. 1 vote.
The region’s separatist leaders unsuccessfully declared independence from Spain in October in violation of the nation’s Constitution. Polls show Catalans are equally divided on the secession issue.