Culture

Spain's Supreme Court rejects request to arrest Catalan ex-president

Spain's Supreme Court rejects request to arrest Catalan ex-president”

On Sunday, Spain's state prosecutor's office said it will reissue a European arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont if he travels from Belgium to Denmark.

The Spanish government assumed control of Catalonia on October 27 after Puigdemont's then-government held an illegal referendum to unilaterally declared independence.

The Catalan separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, has just arrived at Copenhagen Airport, despite the Spanish government calling for the Danes to arrest him so he can be extradited back to Spain.

It is the first time he has left Belgium since fleeing Spain about 80 days ago.

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Mr Puigdemont arrived at Copenhagen airport shortly after 07:00 GMT and was not detained, leaving in a auto.

"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".

A judge claims Mr Puigdemont wants to "provoke arrest abroad" so he can blame Spain for missing his election as regional leader.

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

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But this week, Puigdemont is visiting a university conference in Denmark.

Puigdemont refused to comment on the judge's decision not to seek his arrest.

Although the ex-president is hoping to be sworn into his position via videolink, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says Puigdemont must attend any debates in person.

Roger Torrent, the newly elected speaker of the Catalan parliament, on Monday formally proposed Puigdemont as the candidate to form a government. Whether or not Puigdemont can lead Catalonia in absentia has been debated hotly.

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A Spanish Supreme Court judge withdrew a Europe-wide warrant in December, saying it would complicate the Spanish legal investigation and its removal would allow Spain to gain full control over the case.



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