Deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said he was not trying to escape justice by travelling to Brussels and that he wanted to "put the Catalan problem at the heart of the European Union."
Puigdemont traveled to the Belgian capital on Monday as Spain's chief prosecutor called for criminal charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement to be brought against him and a number of his pro-independence administration.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels Tuesday, he said criminal charges brought against him and other Catalan politicians for their role in the independence bid were groundless.
He said he had come to Belgium to put forward the Catalan issue at the heart of the EU.
"I am not here to demand political asylum," he told reporters in Brussels. "I'm here in Brussels as the capital of Europe." He added that he would return to Catalonia when given "guarantees" of "fair and independent treatment," he said.