Catalan police chief is being investigated by Spanish authorities for sedition.
Josep Lluís Trapero and three others are being investigated in relation to “the gatherings and demonstrations carried out to forcibly prevent the authorities and their officers from carrying out their duties,” according to a court representative.
The authorities claim that the demonstrations obstructed police operation.
The court said the four will be questioned on Friday about their roles in demonstrations which ran from Sept. 21-22 in Barcelona. Senior police official Teresa Laplana and pro-independence supporters Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural and Jordi Sanchez of the ANC completes the quartet.
Sedition, for public officials, carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.
King Felipe VI threw his support behind the Spanish government. On Tuesday evening he said that Catalan authorities “have placed themselves outside the law and democracy, they have tried to break the unity of Spain and national sovereignty.”
The Catalan government pushed back saying the region has the right to self-determination. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont told the BBC that it would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next.” Analysts, however, are less optimistic saying Madrid will likely suspend the government or the autonomy of the Catalan state.
Trapero heads a 17,000-strong Catalan police, which the Spanish government is accusing of not cracking down on voters during the referendum polls.
Several high-ranking officials were subjected to a series of recent early morning raids by national police, in a bid to prevent the vote from happening.
Over two million Catalans voted in the referendum which was ruled illegal under the constitution. Catalonia has 5.4 million eligible voters.