Former Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested in Sardinia | Abroad

Former Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested in Sardinia |  Abroad

According to the lawyer, an Italian judge may already decide on Friday whether to release Puigdemont or extradite him to Spain. This country wants to stand trial for its role in the failure of Catalonia’s secession in 2017. After a referendum, the then-governor declared independence, after which political leaders were either arrested or forced to flee abroad. Puigdemont could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Puigdemont enjoyed parliamentary immunity until early this year, after he was elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2019. However, in March of this year, the European Parliament approved Spain’s request to lift his immunity. Puigdemont went to the European Court, but it stuck to the Parliament’s decision. According to the judge, there was no reason to believe that Puigdemont would be extradited to Spain.

The former prime minister’s lawyer says Puigdemont traveled to Sardinia to visit an art gallery and consult with local authorities. Since 2017, he has been living in exile in Belgium to escape prosecution by the Spanish courts.

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