SPAIN’S attorney general leading the prosecution of the separatist Catalan leaders has died.
Jose Manuel Maza, 66, died in a Buenos Aires hospital, shortly after saying he felt unwell.
His death has been confirmed by justice minister Rafael Catalá and has been attributed to a kidney infection.
The country has now lost its top prosecutor just as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is working to get Spain’s judiciary to prosecute secessionist leaders for illegally declaring the region’s independence.
Maza began the prosecution of 20 Catalan politicians in October, including the region’s former leader, Carles Puigdemont.
Maza argued that they should stand trial for rebellion and sedition, as well as the misuse of public funds to organise an independence referendum.
If found guilty of rebellion, the separatist leaders could face up to 30 years in prison.