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Judge to ‘reactivate’ European arrest warrant for Puigdemont, say reports

Spain’s Supreme Court will prosecute the pro-independence leaders in April, according to ‘La Vanguardia’ newspaper

 

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12 February 2018 11:10 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Carles Puigdemont could again face a European arrest warrant in April when Spain’s Supreme Court begins to prosecute him and other pro-independence leaders. This is what the Catalan La Vanguardia newspaper claimed on Monday. Spain’s Supreme Court will complete the first part of the inquiry into the independence case in March, says the newspaper. The judge will then specify the charges against each defendant and make the decree public to begin prosecuting them. “This decree will in all likelihood carry the reactivation of the European arrest warrant,” says the newspaper.

The formal prosecution of pro-independence leaders could see them automatically barred from office before the trial has even been held. La Vanguardia believes this is a likely scenario, as an article in Spain’s Criminal Prosecution Law (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal) allows this in some cases for officials prosecuted for the crime of rebellion.

The Spanish justice minister also referred to this possibility on February 1. “There could be a suspension from holding public office very soon, which could remove these people from the political landscape and make them unable to carry out political activities,” said the minister in an interview with a Spanish TV channel.   

The Spanish National Court issued an arrest warrant for Puigdemont in early November 2017, but the Supreme Court withdrew it a month later, leaving Puigdemont and the four deposed ministers with him in Brussels free to move around Europe –except for Spain, where they face arrest and jail should they set foot in the country.

Reports say trial in October

The Spanish digital newspaper Público also speculates on the timings of the case, quoting “legal sources.” In an article also published on Monday, it says that the Spanish Supreme Court plans to hold the trial in October, with it lasting a month and with the sentencing to take place in December 2018. The independence case involves 28 Catalan officials, who are either in jail, free on bail, in Brussels or summoned to appear in court. 

 

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  • The Spanish Supreme Court on January 30, 2018 (by Javier Barbancho)

  • The Spanish Supreme Court on January 30, 2018 (by Javier Barbancho)

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