An alert call, from the fugitive location network from Italy, on the edge of the 7:30 in the afternoon, was the one that alerted the National Police to the presence of Carles Puigdemont on a plane that was going to land in Sardinia. And that he would do it just an hour and a half later.
That alert was enough for the telephones of the Director General of the Police and the Deputy Director of Operations, who presided over the awards of the Spanish Police Foundation in Valladolid, began to burn. The messages followed one another without stopping since then, attentive to the news of what was happening, and before the prospect that the former president of the Generalitat was going to be arrested again.
The entire operation was followed from Madrid and from the Valladolid capital, where the entire staff of the National Police was located. Police sources of the investigation confirm to EL ESPAÑOL that, contrary to what Gonzalo Boye, Puigdemont’s lawyer, has affirmed, there was not a single Spanish agent present at the Sardinia airport at the time of arrest in Italy.
It was late in the afternoon, at nightfall, when the National Police investigators received the notice through the SIRENE office (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry), whose purpose, among others, is to exchange information and operate as a bilateral communication body with other countries.
The warning that Puigdemont was going to land in Italy came to Spain through that department owned by all the states of the Schengen area in order to share relevant information, such as police data on fugitives from justice. After the alert, in Spain it was found that the European Arrest Order was still in force.
It was then that they gave the Italians the green light to make the arrest, to do so as soon as the plane landed on the runway. Plainclothes agents were waiting for the expresident as soon as the aircraft descended to l’Alguer from Brussels.
Puigdemont’s team verified a large deployment of Italian policemen. They were waiting for him. Other police sources assure this newspaper that the agents of the neighboring country knew in advance of the ex-president’s trip and were aware of it. It was two of them who ultimately approached to put the handcuffs on him and take him to the police station. There he was already arrested.
The entire process was followed with great interest from the Interior dome, immersed in the preparations for the Police Day, which was celebrated this Friday. From there the progress was followed, until at the stroke of nine o’clock, an hour and a half after receiving the notice, the plane landed on the island of Sardinia.
No agent traveled to the area. It was not necessary. The Interior, through the Civil Guard and the National Police, has been in close collaboration with Italy for years on multiple matters. A close contact undoubtedly more fluid than that existing with Belgium, where Puigdemont has resided since his escape in October 2017.
The expresident had the intention to an event in L’Alguer (Sardinia) in the Adifolk International Gathering, sponsored by an association for the promotion of Catalan folklore. Along with him would be the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Victòria Alsina, and the President of the Parliament, Laura Borràs.
That was the intention with which he moved from Belgium to the Italian archipelago this Thursday. It is expected that in the next few hours he will be at the disposal of the competent Italian court to examine the arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Supreme Court.
“Respect for resolutions”
It is the third time that the former president has been arrested in 4 years since he left Spain. Once the arrest was consummated, Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has been blunt in a statement made in Valladolid after the celebration of the National Police Day.
However, the minister explained how Spain only supervised the steps that the Italian police were taking from a distance. compliance with international obligations “.
Bliss order was issued by the investigating judge of the case of the process, Pablo Llarena, on October 14, 2019 when the Supreme Court condemned the leaders of the Catalan sovereign process for sedition, who brought themselves to justice.
What he did acknowledge is that it had been “a surprise in the sense that I had knowledge when it was communicated from Italy “, although he added that “any arrest warrant against any person can materialize at any time since there are no European arrest warrants that cannot be complied with.” “We are aware of this arrest when the Italian authorities officially notify us,” he said.
According to the possible extradition de Puigdemont, the minister has commented that “let the Italian judicial authorities resolve.” “In the European Union, the countries are states of law, with a division of powers that we must all respect, including the judiciary of any country in the Union,” he added. Then he asked for “respect for judicial resolutions”.
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