Facts Matter

Ousted President of Catalonia says he's not seeking asylum

Catalans wave independence flags during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Francisco Seco / AP

Tensions in Spain escalated to new heights Friday when the Spanish Senate authorized the government to use unprecedented measures to remove Catalonia's self-run government, moments after the Catalan parliament declared the region's independence. Since then, Spanish authorities have filed charges that carry up to 30 years in prison against ousted Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont and his colleagues.

The latest: Puigdemont, who fled to Brussels on Monday, said Tuesday that he is not trying to escape justice, but wants to be able to speak freely. He added that he does not plan to seek asylum there, and will return to Spain once he's given "guarantees" by the Spanish government.