A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest warrant for Catalonia’s ousted president a day after she jailed eight members of the region’s pro-independence government pending possible charges ove last week’s declaration of independence.
In the latest twist in Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades, a national court judge on Friday issued a European arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont in response to a request from state prosecutors.
Puigdemont flew to Brussels earlier this week with a handful of his deposed ministers after Spanish authorities removed him and his cabinet from office for pushing ahead with the declaration of independence. Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer has already said his client will fight extradition without seeking political asylum.
Puigdemont was summoned to appear at Spain’s national court on Thursday to give evidence relating to possible charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, but failed to appear. He has said he would only return to Spain if he were offered guarantees that the judicial process he would face were fair.
Late on Friday, Puigdemont told the Belgian public TV channel RTBF that he would put his faith in the Belgian courts. He said: “I will not flee from justice. I will go towards justice, but real justice. I’ve told my lawyers to tell the Belgian justice system that I’m completely available to cooperate.
(Source: The Guardian)