Spain’s former Catalan leader Puigdemont detained in Germany

Source: Xinhua

The Spanish government confirmed on Sunday that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont (C) addresses a press conference at the Press Club Europe in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 31, 2017. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)

Puigdemont, who has been in exile in Belgium since leaving Spain on Oct. 29, 2017 in order to avoid facing charges of sedition and rebellion, was arrested around 30 kilometers inside Germany at around 11:19 local time.

The arrest happened shortly after he had crossed from Denmark into Germany en-route to Belgium in a car, after having participated in a conference in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

The detention came after the Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llanera on Friday reactivated a European detention order for Puigdemont and six other leading Catalan separatists for the charges related to the Catalan independence referendum of Oct. 1, 2017 and the unilateral declaration of independence on Oct. 27 last year.

Friday also saw judge Llanera send five other Catalan leaders to prison to await trial on those charges, as well as others such as disobedience and the misuse of public funds. Among those sent to prison were Jordi Turull, who had been the candidate to replace Puigdemont as leader and former Catalan speaker Carme Forcadell,

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Alfono Cuevillas, confirmed his client was “in a police station and his legal defense has already been activated,” adding he was being treated “correctly at all times.”

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