Prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Puigdemont

Posted January 24, 2018

Catalonia's parliament has proposed former leader Carles Puigdemont as a candidate for president.

The fugitive former leader of Spain's Catalonia region has spoken in Denmark about an upcoming constitutional referendum in the Faeroe Islands, a semi-autonomous Danish territory.

'Soon we will form a new's time to end their oppression and find a political solution for Catalonia, he added.

Puigdemont fled Catalonia for Belgium shortly after the declaration, which was not recognised by any sovereign nations.

The Danish government says any arrest of Puigdemont is an issue for its law enforcement, according to Spanish newspaper El País (report in English).

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Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena refused the arrest warrant request, arguing the politician's strategy was to "provoke this arrest abroad" so he could blame Spain for missing an upcoming vote in the regional parliament to elect a new leader.

The Catalan parliament will vote to decide its leadership roles and the presidency by January 31.

In December, Mr Llarena withdrew an worldwide arrest order against Mr Puigdemont, fearing that technical differences between the Belgian and Spanish judicial systems would restrict the charges upon which he could be tried after being extradited.

Spain's supreme court has rejected the state prosecutor's request to issue an worldwide arrest warrant against Carles Puigdemont after the ousted Catalan president travelled to Denmark on Monday.

Mr Puigdemont, meanwhile, has made his first trip outside Belgium in three months, addressing students in Denmark.

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That move had been expected; in making it official, the president of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, said Puigdemont had the most support.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium in late October after Madrid sacked his Cabinet over their breakaway attempt, but is eyeing a return to power after pro-independence parties won an absolute majority in regional elections in December.

But the Spanish government said he could not rule from Brussels either.

Torrent said he asked Rajoy for a meeting to talk about the "abnormal situation" in Catalonia.

"It won't happen. The only legitimacy is that of article 155".

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