Carles Puigdemont: the former Catalan president is arrested in Italy – El Tiempo Latino

Puigdemont is requested by the Spanish Justice.

Former Catalan president and independence leader Carles Puigdemont was arrested on the island of Sardinia, Italy.

An international arrest warrant issued by the Supreme Court of Spain weighs on Puigdemont.

According to the Spanish press, Puigdemont traveled to the Italian island of Sardinia to participate in an event together with the Minister of Foreign Action of Catalonia, Victòria Alsina, and the president of the Parliament of that autonomous community of Spain, Laura Borràs.

The activity was to take place in Alghero, an Italian town that has historical ties with Catalonia.

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Gonzalo Baye, confirmed the arrest on Twitter, but assured that the order on which this measure is based is suspended.

The Spanish authorities seek extradite former Catalan president to face rebellion charges, sedition and embezzlement of public funds, after his government organized a unilateral referendum in 2017 – which was declared illegal by the Spanish courts – with a view to declaring the independence of Catalonia.

Puigdemont had been in self-exile since then, in 2017, when he fled to Belgium, where his lawyers appealed the European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Supreme Court.

In 2019 he was elected a deputy in the European Parliament with which he obtained immunity from Justice.

However, in March of this year the members of the European Parliament voted in favor of lifting that legal protection, which allowed reactivate the extradition process against him.

A decision of the General Court of the EU in early June would have provisionally restored that protection, but it was later withdrawn in July in another opinion of the same court.

Puigdemont and the serious political crisis of 2017

Puigdemont was the president of the Catalan autonomous government in 2017 and led the call for a referendum on independence from Spain that the courts declared illegal and that the then Spanish government, chaired by Mariano Rajoy (PP), tried to prevent with a controversial police intervention .

The failed vote led to clashes with the security forces in Catalonia and a serious political crisis in the European country.

Most of the pro-independence leaders were convicted in October 2019 for crimes of sedition, embezzlement of public funds and disobedience, for their role in the referendum. In June 2021, the socialist government of Pedro Sánchez he pardoned them.

Puigdemont and another group of leaders were never tried, nor did they benefit from the pardon.

What consequences can the arrest of Puigdemont have

Pugidemont’s arrest comes at a time when tension in Catalonia seemed to have lessened after the Spanish central government and the autonomous Catalan executive launched the call dialogue table in which they have agreed to seek solutions to their differences.

The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, and the current Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), agreed after the granting of pardons to initiate dialogue, regarding which Puigdemont’s party, Junts, had been skeptical .

Puigdemont has been participating in events in different parts of Europe this summer.

Esquerra and Junts dispute the support of the Catalan pro-independence electorate and, although both insist on demanding independence for Catalonia, they disagree on how to achieve it and how to relate to the Spanish government.

Puigdemont’s arrest and his eventual conviction could reignite the tension in Catalonia, although in recent times the independence protests that had become common in its streets have lost intensity and influx.

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