Former Catalan president and European Parliament member Carles Puigdemont, who was briefly detained in Sardinia and has freedom of movement, announced on Saturday that he would return to Belgium from Italy on Monday, but would return to Italy in early October for a hearing on his extradition demanded by Spain. .
“I plan to return to Brussels on Monday because there is a meeting of the Foreign Trade Committee (of the European Parliament), of which I am a member,” he said during a press conference in Alghero, the Catalan city of Sardinia. “On October 4, I was summoned to the court of Sassari (Northern Sardinia). I will already be present, because every time I am summoned by the courts, I present myself,” he asserted.
Carlos Puigdemont, 58, has been arrested in the European Parliament since 2019, Thursday evening upon arrival at Alghero Airport, where he was due to take part in the Catalan Adivolk festival. He was released on Friday evening after pledging to appear on October 4 for a hearing on his extradition to Spain.
Carles Puigdemont has also announced that he will continue to travel in Europe, defying Madrid and a European arrest warrant that has earned him regular legal setbacks on the continent for nearly two years. The Spanish judiciary accuses him of “sedition” and “embezzlement of public money”. “We will never give up and I will continue to travel in Europe,” Carlos Puigdemont assured.
Immune to suspense
His arrest and then his release 24 hours later by Italian justice “proves”, he said, the struggle of the Catalan separatists for “freedom, democracy and the defense of the right to self-determination, freedom of expression and freedom of movement”. According to his Italian lawyer, Agustinangelo Maras, the decision to extradite him could take “weeks”.
In March 2018, he was arrested for the first time at the request of Spain, this time in Germany. But he was released after a few days. The Independent enjoyed parliamentary immunity for some time, but the European Parliament lifted it on March 9 by a large majority. It is a measure confirmed by the General Court of the European Union on 30 July.
However, the European Parliament’s decision is the subject of an appeal, and the final ruling on the merits must be rendered by EU courts “at a later date”. His legal advisors therefore consider that Parliament’s decision is “suspended”, as is the application of the arrest warrant, and that their client must still benefit from his immunity.
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