Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Spain drops European arrest warrant for axed Catalan leader

Share this article

Spain drops European arrest warrant for axed Catalan leader
Deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont (C) leaves after posing with his fellow candidates after a press conference in Oostkamp, near Brugge, on November 25th. Photo: AFP
11:54 CET+01:00
Spain has withdrawn a European arrest warrant for Catalonia's sacked leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers, who fled to Belgium after the regional parliament declared unilateral independence, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

In a statement, the court said Judge Pablo Llarena, in charge of the case, decided to withdraw the warrant as the five have said they want to come back to Spain to participate in regional elections on December 21st.

He however maintains the Spanish arrest warrant and they would be detained upon arrival in the country, court sources said.   

Llarena also argued that the European warrant would complicate the overall probe into Catalan leaders, some of whom are still in Spain -- in jail or released on bail as authorities probe them on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

He said Belgium could reject some of the reasons behind the warrant, which could affect and possibly reduce the charges brought against Puigdemont and the four others, and create inequalities with those back in Spain who would be probed on the full charges.

The unexpected decision comes just a day after Puigdemont and his four former ministers attended an extradition hearing in Brussels.   

READ MORE: Judge orders Catalan ex-vice president and three others to remain in jail

A judge had been due to give a decision on December 14th.   

It also comes as the official campaign for Catalan elections kicked off, with Puigdemont speaking to supporters in Catalonia on Monday night via video link.

Madrid called the new elections after the independence declaration on October 27th, while dismissing Catalonia's government and suspending the region's autonomy. It hopes the polls will restore normality to the region.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Healthcare in Spain: What you need to know

Before you grab your castanets and move to Spain, you should really take the time to look into the healthcare system in your new country.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement