SPANISH prosecutors have demanded a European arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont.
The deposed Catalan leader and four of his former ministers failed to attend a High Court hearing to face possible charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
A further eight ex-ministers who attended court should now be jailed, the Spanish state prosecutor in Madrid says.
“The climate is not good, it is better to take some distance,” said Puigdemont’s lawyer Paul Bekaert.
“If they ask, he will cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice.”
Puigdemont was seen in a Brussels café as he defied Thursday’s court deadline.
It comes after Puigdemont and his former cabinet members flew to Belgium when Mariano Rajoy’s government took direct control of Catalanya’s civil service and parliament.
The Catalan leaders,who face 30 years in prison if found guilty, were given three days to pay a €6.2 million deposit.
On Tuesday, Puigdemont refused to return to Spain unless given guarantees of receiving a fair trial.
He had declared independence on October 10 following an October 1 referendum which Madrid deemed illegal.
Rajoy activated Article 155 for the first time since democracy was restored to Spain 40 years ago to assume direct rule over Catalunya