Italy has to deliver Puigdemont to Spain

After almost four years on the run, Carles Puigdemont, former president of the Generalitat and head of the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia in autumn 2017, has been arrested on the Italian island of Sardinia.

As we have advanced exclusively in EL ESPAÑOL, the arrest has been produced by the international search and capture order issued by the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena, in charge of the investigation of the process.

Puigdemont, bunkerized in the Belgian city of Waterloo and with status as an MEP, was preparing to participate in the Adifolk International Aplec, an act of Catalan claim, with the privilege of immunity suspended by a decision of the European Parliament, provisionally respected by the Court of Justice of the European Union. A loss of European parliamentary immunity that is key and that puts the former president on the ropes, since it implies, in a nutshell, that there is no legal obstacle preventing its delivery to Spain.

It is still too early to say that we are facing the final squaring of the circle, after so many years of humiliation to our rule of law. But there is no doubt that Spain is one step closer to putting on the bench the main person responsible for the biggest blow against democracy in the last forty years.

Now another decisive step has to be taken and it has to come from the central government. It is expected that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will move to assert before the European Parliament and international institutions that the fugitive responds to the Justice in Spain. Also that the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, transmit with crystal clarity to the Italian authorities that the arrest warrant for the purpose of surrender is active and, therefore, must be processed.

Puigdemont, in short, has to be handed over to Spain, as Judge Llarena claims. And, here, to be judged by the acts of autumn 2017 in Catalonia.

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