Police to seize ballot boxes in Catalonia

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/12 23:53:39

Prosecutors in Catalonia ordered police Tuesday to seize ballot boxes, election flyers or any item that could be used in a banned independence ­referendum called by the Spanish region's separatist executive.

The vote is set for October 1 and the northeastern region's separatists are determined to go ahead with it despite Madrid's refusal and a court ban, as a struggle between Catalonia and Spain's central government escalates dramatically.

On Tuesday, the chiefs of the Guardia Civil and National Police forces, and of the Mossos d'Esquadra - a regional squad controlled by the Catalan government - were called to the prosecutor's office in Barcelona.

They were then ordered to take action against authorities, civil servants or individuals "to avoid offences being committed," prosecutors  after the meeting. "Police officers ... will directly adopt the measures necessary to seize resources destined at preparing or holding an illegal referendum."

Under Spanish law, prosecutors have the power to give instructions to judicial police forces in investigating offences.

Posted in: EUROPE

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