Puigdemont asks if Spain’s extradition warrants have officially been suspended

EU court says exiled president and two other MEPs cannot be arrested or sent back to Spain for now

Carles Puigdemont and Gonzalo Boye
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
30.11.2021 - 20:23
Actualització: 30.11.2021 - 21:23

The defense team of exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former ministers Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, all of whom are currently MEPs for Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), has formally asked Spain’s Supreme Court to officially state that the extradition warrants for the pro-independence politicians have been suspended. This comes days after the European General Court issued a provisional ruling establishing that the three MEPs cannot be arrested or sent back to Spain for now but did not restore their parliamentary immunity.

“They do not risk being handed in to Spanish authorities,” the ruling reads, adding that Puigdemont’s arrest and subsequent release in Sardinia “demonstrates” that judicial authorities “do not intend to execute arrest warrants before Spain’s Supreme Court positions itself” on this matter.

On Monday, their lawyer wrote to judge Pablo Llarena to inquire whether security forces, Schengen, and Interpol have been informed of the EU court’s decision. All three MEPs have also appealed the European General Court’s decision to not restore their parliamentary immunity in the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Potential arrests

Although the EGC argued that they are not likely to be sent back to Spain and therefore do not face “serious and irreparable harm,” the MEPs say that a potential arrest can disrupt their duties as politicians.

Carles Puigdemont, who was the president of Catalonia at the time of the October 2017 independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain, moved to Belgium to avoid prosecution and is now a member of the European Parliament. Comín and Ponsatí were the health and education ministers in Puigdemont’s cabinet during Catalonia’s 2017 independence bid.

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