Nov 21, 8:23 AM EST

Spain prosecutors take case against Catalan leader

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MADRID (AP) -- Prosecutors have filed suits against government officials in Spain's powerful northeastern region of Catalonia for staging a vote on secession that had been ordered suspended by the Constitutional Court.

The prosecutor's office Friday urged Catalonias regional court to investigate possible charges of grave disobedience, abuse of public funds, prevarication, usurpation of powers and obstructing justice against Catalan regional President Artur Mas and two other regional officials for staging the Nov. 9 non-binding ballot.

The court must now decide if the case merits appointing an investigative magistrate to handle.

Catalonia held the poll after plans to stage a proper referendum were also suspended when the Spanish government challenged its legality.

Catalan officials said that out of 6.3 million potential voters, 2.3 million cast ballots, with most favoring secession.

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