Former Catalan prime minister Carles Puigdemont, detained in Sardinia on Thursday, announced his intention to return to Brussels. The politician wants to attend a meeting of one of the European Parliament’s committees on Monday, and then return to the island for a court hearing on a possible extradition, on which the Spanish authorities are insisting.
We informed about the arrest of Puigdemont by the Italian police on tvn24.pl. On Saturday, the politician took part in a press conference in Alghero, Sardinia. “I plan to return to Brussels on Monday to attend a meeting of the European Parliament’s foreign trade committee, of which I am a member,” he announced. He also added that he would return to the island to attend a court hearing on his possible extradition to Spain on October 4. “I will be there because whenever I am summoned to a court hearing, I appear in person,” Puigdemont assured.
After Thursday’s detention at the airport in Alghero, the Catalan politician was briefly arrested, and on Friday evening the court released him but forbade him to leave the island. The detention was based on an arrest warrant issued by the Supreme Court of Madrid.
The Carles Puigdemont case
Puigdemont’s detention is related to the illegal independence referendum in Catalonia organized by his government on October 1, 2017. The then prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, dismissed the authorities of the autonomous community, and the separatist politician fled to Belgium for fear of arrest. In 2019, he started on the party list of Together for Catalonia in the elections to the European Parliament. He won the seat, but due to the dispute over the legality of the election, he had problems with its recognition.
In January 2020, the European Parliament finally made the election of Puigdemont legal with effect from the beginning of his term of office. The Spanish authorities asked in mid-January to waive the Catalan politician’s immunity. In March this year, he was stripped of his immunity.
Puigdemont’s temporary imprisonment in Sardinia sparked numerous protests in Catalonia.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SIAS