Ex-Catalan chief vows to maintain preventing extradition to Spain


Barcelona (Spain), March 7

Catalonia’s former regional president Carles Puigdemont says he will keep fighting extradition back to Spain if, as he expects, the European Union’s parliament strips him of his immunity as a lawmaker this week.

Puigdemont and two fellow Catalan separatists won seats in the European Parliament in 2019, two years after fleeing Spain because they had led a failed secession attempt for Catalonia, a move that Spain has deemed illegal.

On Monday, Puigdemont, along with cohorts Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, faces a vote by the European Parliament on whether to lift their immunity as lawmakers, a move that has been recommended by the parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee.

“We contemplate all scenarios, obviously even that we will lose our immunity, which is the most likely,” Puigdemont told The Associated Press via on Sunday from his residence in Waterloo, Belgium. “But we know that would not be the end of the road.” 

Lifting their immunity would allow Spain to once again pursue their extradition to stand trial like their fellow separatist leaders who remained in Spain and were found guilty of sedition and the misuse of public funds for the 2017 breakaway bid.

So far, courts in Belgium, Germany, and Britain have refused to send Puigdemont and his colleagues back on grounds of sedition as requested by Spain.

Puigdemont said besides resisting in the national courts, the three will also “take our case to the Court of Justice of the European Union”. — AP

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