The Latest: Puigdemont says vote crackdown boosting support

The Latest on Catalonia's disputed independence referendum (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Catalonia's leader says Spain's crackdown on a controversial independence referendum is boosting support for the vote in a way that European institutions won't be able to ignore.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont criticized the European Commission in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press for turning "deaf ears" so far to Catalonia's desire to hold a vote.

Puigdemont also said that the Commission has turned its back on Catalans by not defending the fundamental rights of all European citizens during the controversial measures adopted by Spain's courts and central authorities to try to stop the vote.

In the interview four days ahead of the vote, Puigdemont also promised to turn the conflict with Spain into a European affair rather than a domestic issue.

No country, within or outside the European Union, has openly expressed support for the Oct. 1 referendum that Spain's conservative government sees as illegal.


4:15 p.m.

Spain's National Court plans to investigate possible sedition charges for demonstrators who took part in a massive protest against a police crackdown on preparations for an Oct. 1 referendum on the Catalonia region's independence.

Investigative Judge Carmen Lamela said Wednesday that the court would investigate if the Sept. 20 demonstration constituted a tumultuous uprising against police, which could constitute sedition. The judge called on Spain's paramilitary Civil Guard to provide information.

The decision followed a complaint by the court's chief prosecutor that named two civil groups as organizers of the demonstration in Barcelona. It took place outside a building that police had raided and two Civil Guard vehicles were thrashed.

The groups, Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural, are two of the driving forces behind the call for Catalan independence.