Who Is Carles Puigdemont? Catalan Leader Turns Himself Into Belgian Police

06 November, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Spain mulls int'l arrest warrant for Puigdemont

A Spanish National Court judge issued warrants for the five absconded lawmakers on suspicion of five crimes, including rebellion, sedition and embezzlement, on Friday, a day after the same judge sent another eight former Catalan Cabinet members to jail without bail while her investigation continues.

Puigdemont and his fellow separatists claimed that a referendum on secession held on October 1 gave them a mandate for independence, even though it had been prohibited by the nation's highest court and only 43 percent of the electorate took part in the vote, which failed to meet worldwide standards and was disrupted by violent police raids.

According to Belgian procedures, prosecutors must bring suspects to a judge, who has 24 hours to decide whether or not to approve the arrest warrant.

The Spanish government does not recognize the move and has made a decision to impose direct rule on the region, further ordering nine former ministers of Catalonia to be remanded in custody pending trial in connection with the independence initiative.

Puigdemont's lawyer in Brussels had previously said that his client plans to fight extradition to Spain without requesting political asylum.


Mr Puigdemont's rallying cry came a day after a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant against him, with prosecutors seeking to charge him with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his secessionist drive.

The central government in Madrid announced it would take direct control of the region as a result, and called new elections for December 21.

National Court investigating judge Carmen Lamela filed the request with the Belgian prosecutor on Friday evening, and issued separate global search and arrest warrants to alert Europol in case the five flee Belgium. The ninth spent a night behind bars before posting bail and being released. Mas said. "If we add the issue of independence, we won't get as many people to support us". He worked his way up to Catalan parliament and represented the political movement for independence.

The 54-year-old has been holed up in Belgium since Monday and ignored a summons to appear before the judge in Madrid, saying that he wanted guarantees that he would receive a fair trial.

Puigdemont married a fellow journalist, Marcela Topor, in 2000 and together they have two daughters.

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