Former Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont, a leader of the freedom movement in the Spanish Autonomous Region, was arrested in Sardinia on Thursday.
Carlos Puigdemont, MEP’s and former Catalan president, has been arrested on Thursday in Italy, where he has been living in exile in Belgium since 2017.
“President Puigdemont was arrested when he arrived in Sardinia traveling as a MEP,” his lawyer Gonzalo Boy said on Twitter, adding that the arrest was based on a October 14, 2019 European arrest warrant.
Arrested at the airport
The 58-year-old Catalan leader has been arrested in Alghero, his chief of staff Joseph Luis Alloy confirmed on Twitter.
“When Alghero arrived at the airport, he was arrested by Italian border police. Tomorrow (Friday) the president will appear before the judges of the Sassari Court of Appeal, which will be able to decide his release or extradition,” Spain said. Joseph Louis Alloy.
The new regional president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonese, is a separatist, but more moderate than Carlos Pugdemont, who immediately responded on Twitter, “(strongly condemns persecution and this just oppression of justice).”
“Enough. Forgiveness is the only solution. Self-determination is the only solution. Carles is by your side,” Pere Aragons said.
In Madrid, the Spanish government of socialist Pedro Sanchez “showed respect for the decisions of the Italian authorities and courts.”
“The arrest of Carles Pugdemont is in line with current legal procedures, which apply to any European Union citizen who has to answer for his or her actions before the courts,” said Carlos Pugdemont in a statement issued by the palace of the Spanish government’s head of state. “
Calls for independence to be displayed in front of the Italian Consulate in Barcelona on Friday, a public holiday in Catalonia, began to spread on social networks, while former regional president Quim Tora described the “tragedy” as “the maximum possible transfer of Carls Pugdemont to Spain.”
Joseph Luis Alloy, chief of staff of Carles Puigdemont, said he had gone to Alghero to attend a cultural festival and meet with selected officials from the Italian island.
Carls-Pugdemont was arrested in Italy a week after talks resumed between the left-wing central government and the Catalan regional executive to find a solution to the political crisis in Catalonia.
The European Parliament on March 9 raised the parliamentary resistance of Carles Pugdemont and two other pro-independence MEPs by a large majority, as confirmed by the European Court of Justice on July 30.
But the decision of the European Parliament is subject to an appeal, and the final decision on the eligibility of EU justice must be pronounced “at a later date”.
According to Gonzalo Bo, a lawyer for Carles Puigdemont, the decision was “suspended” by parliament.
The pardon granted at the end of June to nine separatists imprisoned in Spain by Carls Pugdemont, who had been deported from Belgium for failing to escape Spanish court proceedings in 2017, did not work, and the government of socialist Pedro Sanchez still wants to be tried in Spain.
Carlos Pugdemont is facing charges of “treason” and “embezzlement of public funds.”