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Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Scotland to decide on extradition of Catalan leaders

Deposed president detained in Germany while other pro-independence officials to hand themselves 

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26 March 2018 01:03 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The European and international arrest warrants issued against the deposed president Carles Puigdemont and his fellow officials abroad are to be processed in four different countries, each with their own variations in law, where the exiled officials have been seeking refuge from the Spanish judicial.

The dismissed members of the Catalan government include Toni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Meritxell Serret, and  Lluís Puig. Alongside Puigdemont, they all sought refuge in Belgium after the parliament declared Catalonia as independent. Ponsatí then left for Scotland. The secretary general of Esquerra Republicana, Marta Rovira, also left Catalonia last week, announcing that she would “go into exile.” She is thought to be in Switzerland. Puigdemont was detained in Germany whilst travelling back to Belgium from Finland. 

The arrest warrants are therefore to be processed in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland. In a un expected turn of events on Sunday, Puigdemont was locked up in Neumünster prison while it is decided to extradite him or not.

The sacked education minister, Clara Ponsatí , will hand herself in to the Scottish police on Monday. She is already in contact with her lawyer.

In Belgium, three dismissed officials, Serret, Puíg, and Comín are due to appear before the Belgian prosecutor soon. 

Crossing borders 

Puigdemont's lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillo, stated that he had been able to speak to Puigdemont on the phone, who assured him he was being treated well by the German authorities. On March 25, the Spanish government stated it had received official confirmation of Carles Puigdemont's "detention" by German authorities. 

The European arrest warrant was issued on Friday by the Spanish government against Carles Puigdemont and five other ministers from the cabinet residing abroad. Puigdemont himself is to be prosecuted for rebellion and misuse of public funds for his role in the Catalan independence roadmap and is facing up to 40 years in jail. Also on Friday, five Catalan officials, including a current presidential candidate and the former Parliament speaker, were imprisoned while awaiting trial. 

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  • Protesters holding “Free Puigdemont” banner outside prison where he is beign held (by ACN)