Spanish judge rejects claim to arrest Puigdemont in Denmark
A Spanish court rejects the claim by the state prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant against Catalonia’s former president Carles Puigdemont, who is visiting Denmark.
Puigdemont did not answer questions from the many journalists who waited for him at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen Monday morning.
Spain has made it clear that an international arrest warrant would be issued for Puigdemont if he traveled to Denmark to attend a debate at the University of Copenhagen.
The Catalan separatist leader could then be demanded to be extradited. Monday afternoon, a court in Madrid rejected the prosecution’s request to renew an arrest warrant issued and rejected last year.
Fled the country
Puigdemont fled to Belgium after Catalonia’s attempted severance failed and Spanish authorities issued a warrant of arrest against him and several other Catalan leaders.
the visit to Denmark is the first time Puigdemont travels abroad since he went into exile in Belgium.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, Puigdemont bought a ticket from Ryanair and travelled from Brussels to Copenhagen on Monday morning.
Canceled warrant of arrest
Puigdemont was accused of sedition and embezzlement of public funds in Spain after his Government held a referendum on independence last year.
A European warrant was issued against Puigdemont, but it was canceled by a Spanish judge in December.
The judge however stresses that the deposed regional president will be arrested if he returns to Spain.
Proposed as head of local Government
On Monday, the President of the Regional Assembly of Catalonia, Roger Torrent, suggested that Puigdemont should be given the task to form a Government for the region.
Torrent announces that he has written a letter to Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and that he asks for a meeting to discuss the “abnormal situation” in Catalonia.
Rajoy has previously made it clear that Puigdemont can not lead the Catalan government from exile, but that he must return to Spain and be sworn in the usual way.
Until then, Madrid will remain in control of Catalonia, Rajoy emphasized earlier this month.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today