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Spain reactivates arrest warrant for former Catalan leader Puigdemont

World Tuesday 15/October/2019 11:46 AM
By: Times News Service
Spain reactivates arrest warrant for former Catalan leader Puigdemont

Madrid: Judge Pablo Llanera, examining magistrate in the trial of 12 Catalan politicians over events related to the 1 October 2017, independence referendum, on Monday reactivated the European arrest warrant for former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

The Spanish Supreme Court has confirmed that Llarena had issued both European and international arrest warrants after former Catalan deputy leader Oriol Junqueras was sentenced to 13 years in prison for sedition and misuse of government funds related to the referendum, which was declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Monday saw other former members of Puigdemont's government handed sentences ranging from 12 to 10 and a half years in prison for similar offences by the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid.

Puigdemont did not face trial after fleeing to Belgium on 30 October 2017. He has lived in exile since then.

The former Catalan leader was detained while traveling through Germany after a conference in 2018, but was released after a German court decided it could only extradite him to face the lesser charge of the misuse of public funds and not the more serious charge of "rebellion" and the original warrant was subsequently dropped.

The Spanish Supreme Court said that the new warrant will ask for Puigdemont's detention and subsequent extradition for sedition and misuse of government funds, arguing that these are "significantly close" to the crimes for which Junqueras and the other 11 defendants were found guilty and sentenced on Monday.