• Today
    March 23

  • 09:16 AM

Spain withdraws international arrest warrant for former Catalan leader


Added 05 December 2017


Sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont makes a statement in this still image from video calling for the release of “the legitimate government of Catalonia”, after a Spanish judge ordered nine Catalan secessionist leaders to be held in custody pending a potential trial over the region’s independence push, in Brussels, Belgium, November 2, 2017. (FILE)

MADRID - Spain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday said it had withdrawn an international arrest warrant for Catalonia’s pro-independence former leader, in self-imposed exile in Belgium.

The court said Carles Puigdemont and four of his cabinet members also in Belgium had shown a willingness to return to Spain to take part in Catalonia’s Dec. 21 regional election.

Campaigning for the election, called by Madrid in an effort to resolve a crisis over an independence bid by the wealthy northeastern region, started on Tuesday.

Madrid hopes parties in favour of unity with Spain will win the election. Pro-independence parties see the poll as a plebiscite on a split from Spain.

It was not clear whether Puigdemont would return immediately to Spain, where he is likely to be detained pending investigations that could take months.

The five sacked politicians travelled to Belgium after a unilateral declaration of independence in the Catalan parliament on Oct. 27, considered illegal by Spanish courts.

Puigdemont is facing charges of sedition, rebellion, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust. A Spanish court issued an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont on Nov. 3 on these charges.

Puigdemont’s lawyers have said the crimes of which he and other cabinet members are accused are not punishable under Belgian law. The Belgian judge overseeing the extradition case was expected to deliver a verdict on Dec. 14.

The extradition case between Spain and Belgium could have run for months as Belgian court decisions could be appealed in higher courts. (Reuters)


Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus




Do you think there should be tougher penalties for those found guilty of acts of cruelty to children? The penalty is currently $120 or one year in prison.