“I am very happy to be here, to take part in this event,” Puigdemont said today, shaking hands and waving to the crowd. And he had arrived Thursday evening at Alghero Airport, a city on the Italian island of Sardinia with Catalan culture, where he will participate in a cultural festival and meet politicians from the island of Sardinia.
Puigdemont, 58, was arrested on arrival during his trial in Spain for his role in the attempt to separate Catalonia from Spain. He was released on Friday evening after expressing his willingness to attend a hearing on October 4 regarding a possible extradition to Spain. According to his lawyer, he can leave Italy in the meantime.
Puigdemont enjoyed parliamentary immunity until early this year, after being elected to the European Parliament in 2019. However, in March of this year, the European Parliament approved Spain’s request to lift his immunity. Spain requested it. This decision paved the way for extradition to Spain. 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.
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