Friday, November 3, 2017

Confusion remains over Puigdemont arrest warrant

the Spanish High Court in Madrid
The European Commission has said any European arrest warrant issued by Spain to Belgium for the arrest of ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was strictly a matter for the judicial authorities of both countries.

There is still no confirmation that Belgium has received arrest warrants for Mr Puigdemont, or five Catalan government colleagues who travelled to Brussels on Sunday, despite claims by Mr Puigdemont's lawyer that a warrant had been issued.

Mr Puigdemont was dismissed last week as Catalan president by the Spanish government, hours after the region declared itself an independent nation.

As well as removing Mr Puigdemont as head of the autonomous region, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also fired the police chief and said central government ministries would take over the Catalan administration.

There is still confusion over whether or not the Spanish High Court in Madrid has formally issued a European arrest warrant effectively asking the Belgian authorities to extradite Mr Puigdemont and his associates to face charges of rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds.

Mr Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert had earlier said a warrant had been issued, but this has been denied by a court official in Madrid.

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