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Spain's Supreme Court warns Germany: Don't commit 'same mistake' as Belgium

Spanish judge insists in letter to German prosecutor that European Arrest Warrant against Puigdemont "complies with all requirements" and criticizes Belgian judge for acting "against the principle of mutual trust"

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17 May 2018 01:55 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish Supreme Court asked Germany not to commit the "same mistake" as Belgium, where yesterday a judge rejected to extradite three Catalan leaders exiled in the country arguing "irregularities" in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against them.

In a letter, the Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena told the German prosecutor that the Belgian decision was "against the principle of mutual trust" between judiciaries. The Spanish judge admitted he felt compelled in writing the German authorities "to avoid circumstances that could prompt the same mistake" seen in Belgium.

According to the Spanish court, the European Arrest Warrant against Catalan leaders "complies with all requirements."

The Spanish judge argued in his letter that the 21 March 2018 indictment of his tribunal – in which he charged Puigdemont and other deposed ministers of rebellion and misuse of public funds  –  is the base for the European Arrest Warrant issued against them on 23 March.

Belgium courts argued that the EAW had "irregularities" because there was no national arrest warrant against Puigdemont for the crimes of rebellion and misuse of funds. However, Llarena said that his indictment equates to a "firm sentence or an arrest warrant."

"The Belgian court rejected the extradition to Spain yesterday. The court based its decision on the fact that the EAW did not mention any national arrest warrant previous to its issuing, and that it could consider the indictment foreseen in the Spanish judicial framework as equivalent to a warrant, even though the Supreme Court informed it that it could," the letter reads.

"We understand it is against the principle of mutual trust to assess the legal nature of resolutions foreseen in the Spanish legal framework and to disagree with which what legal nature the Supreme Court informs that they have," the Spanish judge stated.

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  • Carles Puigdemont outside the Neumünster prison (by ACN)

  • Carles Puigdemont outside the Neumünster prison (by ACN)