Home / World News / Judge refuses to re-issue Carles Puigdemont arrest warrant

Judge refuses to re-issue Carles Puigdemont arrest warrant

A Spanish judge has refused to re-issue a European arrest warrant for former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont – saying it would be playing into the exiled politician’s hands.

Mr Puigdemont has been exiled in Belgium since his failed bid to declare Catalonia independent from Spain three months ago.

He is refusing to return to Spain until he is given guarantees by Madrid that he will be able to lead the regional parliament.

Separatist parties won a majority in December’s regional elections and a new leader must be elected by 31 January.

The politician faces charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in Spain
Image:
Carles Puigdemont faces charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in Spain

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena refused the arrest warrant request, arguing the politician’s strategy was to “provoke this arrest abroad” so he could blame Spain for missing an upcoming vote in the regional parliament to elect a new leader.

He said: “Facing the legal impossibility to be elected without being present at the parliament, provoking his arrest overseas seeks to equip him with a justification that his absence is not a free decision as a fugitive, but the consequence of a situation that has been imposed on him.”

The refusal comes after the speaker of the Catalan parliament nominated Mr Puigdemont to lead the regional government.

The politician taking selfies at the University of Copenhagen
Image:
The politician taking selfies at the University of Copenhagen

Roger Torrent said it was “absolutely legitimate” for Mr Puigdemont to take control of the regional authority – despite the politician facing criminal charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

Mr Puigdemont, meanwhile, has made his first trip outside Belgium in three months, addressing students in Denmark.

The 55-year old told an audience at a University of Copenhagen debate: “We will not surrender to authoritarianism despite Madrid’s threats.”

He added: “Soon we will form a new government… it’s time to end their oppression and find a political solution for Catalonia.”


Catalan's leader said his government will carry out the 'will of the people'

Video:
October: ‘We will carry out people’s will’

Mr Puigdemont told students the actions of Madrid were acts of “revenge”.

He said: “Fundamental freedoms have been undermined, democratically elected politicians have been sent to prison and treated like terrorists.”

The ongoing crisis unfolded after the Catalan parliament declared unilateral independence in October.

Spain’s government then axed Mr Puigdemont and his entire administration before dissolving the parliament.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Art school in for summer

Bunbury Summer School 2019 will be launched this Saturday at the Stirling Street Arts Centre. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: