Catalonia’s President detained in Germany

  • Local authorities have to evaluate whether to follow the European arrest warrant against Puigdemont issued by Spain or to allow him to continue towards Belgium

VilaWeb
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
25.03.2018 - 16:04
Actualització: 25.03.2018 - 16:15

Carles Puigdemont,  president of Catalonia, has been detained by the German police close to the Danish border on his way to Belgium, where he lives in exile. The pro-independence leader had left Finland on Friday night, according to a statement released by the MP who invited him to the Nordic country. While Puigdemont had reportedly assured the Finnish politician that he would “fully cooperate” with the Belgian authorities, they themselves had stated they did not know of the president’s whereabouts.

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, revealed that his client was detained by the police in Germany while driving towards Belgium. It is still yet unclear whether the German police will process the European arrest warrant, or whether they will allow him to return to Belgium so it can be done there. Alonso-Cuevillas also stated that he had been able to speak to Puigdemont on the phone, who assured him he was being treated well by the German authorities. Spanish government stated it had received official confirmation of Carles Puigdemont’s “detention” by German authorities.

9 in prison, 7 into exile

The European arrest warrant was issued on Friday by the Spanish government against Carles Puigdemont and five other ministers from the cabinet residing abroad. Puigdemont himself is to be prosecuted for rebellion and misuse of public funds for his role in the Catalan independence roadmap and is facing up to 40 years in jail. Also on Friday, five Catalan officials, including a current presidential candidate and the former Parliament speaker, were imprisoned while awaiting trial.

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