February 18, 2018

Spanish judge refuses warrant for Puigdemont in Copenhagen

24 January 2018, 12:33 | Cassandra Thompson

Several politicians from pro-independence parties are in jail or outside Spain

Roger Torrent the new Speaker of the Catalan parliament reviews the Mossos d'Esquadra in gala uniforms after the first parliamentary session in Barcelona

Spain's Attorney General has made a request for a previously issued European Arrest Warrant, naming Catalan ex-President Carles Puigdemont, to be reactivated.

The supreme court had previously issued a European arrest warrant when he originally travelled to Belgium only to withdraw it because Belgium does not have a crime which is the exact equivalent of rebellion.

Spain is investigating Puigdemont for possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement linked to a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia's parliament on October 27.

The Spanish prosecution asked the Court to reinstate the European Union arrest warrant, as Puigdemont had arrived in Denmark to deliver a speech at the University of Copenhagen, the El Pais newspaper said.

A Spanish judge has rejected a petition from the country's prosecutor to ask Danish authorities to arrest ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

Puigdemont is to take part in a debate on Catalonia at the University of Copenhagen later today.

But Mr Puigdemont's supporters say it would be possible with modern technology.

"President Puigdemont never dismissed the possibility of presenting and submitting his candidacy in person", the lawyer told Catalonian public television, adding that his client was "aware of the risks he faces".

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"Mr. Puigdemont is subject to a process in Spain", Alfonso Dastis, Spain's foreign minister, said.

He also talked about an April 25 constitutional referendum in the Faeroe Islands, a Danish territory.

Earlier, the Catalan parliament's speaker, Roger Torrent, said Mr Puigdemont's candidacy to head the regional government was "absolutely legitimate" despite the charges against him.

Puigdemont left Brussels for Copenhagen to attend the conference on Monday.

After weeks of uneasy calm, the political crisis triggered by Catalonia's independence drive flared up again last week when the new regional parliament elected Torrent as speaker at its first sitting. Prosecutors were calling for Puigdemont to be arrested in Denmark, where he traveled on Monday.

He called for a meeting with Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy in a bid to reach a resolution to the situation.

The Spanish government has threatened to arrest him the moment he sets foot back in Spain.

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