April 25, 2017 / 9:06 PM / 4 months ago

Spanish court jails son of former Catalonia leader

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's High Court ruled on Tuesday that the son of one of Catalonia's most prominent political figures would be jailed to prevent him obstructing an investigation into an alleged money laundering and tax fraud scheme carried out by his family.

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the oldest son of former Catalan regional head Jordi Pujol, was jailed without bail after a judge questioned him on Tuesday and decided he was obstructing the investigation, according to the court's ruling.

Under Spanish law, prosecutors can request that suspects be kept in prison for up to two years if certain conditions are met while they continue with an investigation.

Judge Jose de la Mata wrote in the ruling that Pujol Ferrusola would be sent to jail to avoid the concealment, alteration or destruction of evidence.

His father, a figurehead for Catalan nationalism who ran the regional government between 1989 and 2003, was stripped of his political titles and honours in 2014 after admitting that he had hidden a multi-million euro fortune abroad for three decades to avoid taxes. His case remains under investigation.

Pujol Ferrusola is suspected of coordinating the management of his family's wealth in Andorra and other countries using a web of companies set up to conceal more than 11 million euros ($12.03 million) from Spanish authorities, the ruling said.

He had withheld evidence and information since the start of the investigation, it said.

His defence rejects the prosecution's claims, the document said. Reuters was not able to contact Pujol Ferrusola's lawyer for comment.

Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Gareth Jones

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