Spain Requests European Arrest Warrant For Catalan President, Leaders of Separatist Campaign


The Spanish prosecutor has called for the controversial European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to be used against Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four members of his government after they refused to appear in court to face accusations of misuse of public funds, rebellion, and sedition.

The demand for an arrest comes just days after Spain dismissed the whole Catalan government, after their parliament voted to cede from Spain, the culmination of decades of secessionist activity by the region. Summoned by the Spanish prosecutor along with nine of his colleagues to appear in court Thursday. the former leader of the Catalan region fled to Belgium, the home of the European Union Parliament, in an apparent bid for refuge.

Vowing he would not return to Spain unless he could be guaranteed a fair trial, the Spanish government has reacted by requesting European Arrest Warrants be executed for the men — which would oblige the police of any European Union nation they travelled to, to arrest the politicians and transfer them to Spain for trial. Puigdemont has called the charged politically motivated.

Under investigation for embezzlement, rebellion, and sedition, Puigdemont and 19 others face up to 30 years in jail for attempting to secede their nation from Spain after holding a referendum on Catalonia’s ongoing relationship with the nation, which the Spanish constitutional court declared illegal.

Nine of Puigdemont’s former colleagues were detained Thursday.

While the European Union has historically pushed for its member nations to be broken up into smaller regions to form a federal Europe, it has been silent over the suppression of the Catalan independence movement by the Spanish state, even endorsing the use of police brutality in attempting to prevent the referendum from going ahead as “proportionate”.

The European Arrest Warrant that is to be used to extradite Catalan president Puigdemont back to Spain to face trial has been the subject of controversy and has been held as a prime example of European Union overreach. UKIP has campaigned against the warrants, which have been subject to serious miscarriages of justice.

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