Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office requests international arrest warrant against Puigdemont

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – At a time when Pedro Sánchez seeks to renew his coalition government with the support of Catalan parties, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked Judge Pablo Llarena to issue an arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont. 

The former president of Catalonia is a crucial figure in the potential investiture of Pedro Sánchez as Spain’s Prime Minister. The Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued an arrest warrant for Toni Comín, his former advisor, “in case it becomes necessary to process the extradition request, as well as the European arrest warrant.” 

This happens on the same day that the Mossos (Catalan police) have arrested the MEP of Junts, Clara Ponsatí, following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that lifted the immunity of MEPs. Thus, the Spanish Supreme Court can reactivate the European arrest warrants. 

Clara Ponsati was previously arrested earlier this year during a visit to Barcelona after five years in exile. However, after spending a few hours at the police station, she was released. On Monday, she confirmed her arrest on Twitter and described it as ‘illegal’. 

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The prosecutors request Llarena to take action against Puigdemont and Comín for embezzlement of funds, which could result in a prison sentence of six to twelve years due to the substantial amount of money they allegedly misappropriated. 

This ruling can be appealed before the Court of Justice of the European Union, but the appeal does not have a suspensive effect. In other words, considering the personal situation of both defendants – fugitives from justice and in rebellion – it is once again justified to issue international and European arrest warrants for both accused for the offences specified in the ruling of January 12, 2023,” according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

Also read: Carles Puigdemont loses the battle for parliamentary immunity 

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