Carles Puigdemont has assured this Saturday at a press conference from Sardinia, where he was arrested on Thursday night and released on Friday without precautionary measures, who will fly to Brussels next Monday to continue his work as a MEP and will return to the Italian island on October 4 to appear in person before the Sassari court. “We are not going to fail our strategy or the Italian justice system. On the 4th we will appear together, in person, and we will take the result that we all know we are going to take ”, added his lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, also present at the appearance before the media.
A different world since the Puigdemont march: pardons, a dialogue table and a discarded rebellion
“I am happy with the final result. Our political and legal arguments have been proven. The arguments were very solid. The Italian justice has taken a few hours to make a decision that Spain has not taken for four years,” said Puigemont, who acknowledged having spent “difficult hours” although “not unthinkable” given the path that Spain has made in the last four years to “impede” its “freedom of movement, of speech, of action and political commitment.”
The former president recalled that last week he met in the French National Assembly with several politicians from that country without any incident and has assured that he will continue to travel in Europe. “We will continue with the fight to achieve our goal. We will not give up,” he asserted in an appearance in which, in addition to his lawyer, he was accompanied by the head of his Office, Josep Lluís Alay, and the Trustee of the Italian municipality , Mario Met.
To questions from journalists, Puigdemont has shown his suspicions that, at the time of his arrest in Sardinia on Thursday night, there were Spanish policemen. This version was denied by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska, which claimed to have had knowledge of the arrest when it was informed by the Italian authorities. The expresident has specifically referred to a person who “was not part of the Italian police team” and who was recording from a window overlooking the stairs where he got off the plane. “I did not think it was from the Italian police, frankly,” he assured.
The MEP thanked the support of the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, with whom he held a “warm, empathetic, emotional” meeting this Saturday in Sardinia in which – he assured – there was no place to talk about “politics internal ”of Catalonia. However, when asked about the dialogue table and about how the incident of his arrest may influence, Puigdemont has insisted that “it is about dialogue, not negotiation” and has affirmed that only a part of the independence movement is sitting – the one that “guarantees parliamentary stability “- because” the other is not loved. ”
Without precautionary measures
The Italian justice decided to release Puigdemont without precautionary measures this Friday by assuming the interpretation of the General Court of the European Union that the European arrest warrant against him would be inactive. “The suspension of said procedure entails the suspension of the execution of said orders”, says the resolution of the magistrate Plinia Azzena in relation to the question referred raised by the Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena about the reasons why an extradition can be rejected and the European arrest warrant that the High Court issued against the former president in October 2019.
The Prosecutor’s Office did not request his admission to prison and the order argues that any restriction on his mobility “would seriously jeopardize” his right to travel to the European Parliament, where he is a deputy. In fact, the order highlights that the former president enjoys “immunity” to participate in meetings of the European Parliament. The same court will hear Puigdemont on October 4 and, from there, will have to decide whether or not the extradition process continues.
Puigdemont’s defense alleges that European courts have yet to dictate a ruling on your immunity Parliament and on a preliminary ruling raised by Judge Pablo Llarena himself and that, therefore, we must wait for this matter to be settled. The magistrate of the Supreme Court does not think the same. This same Friday he addressed his Italian colleagues to ensure that his arrest warrant is not affected by those processes. “The judicial procedure from which the euro order derives is active and pending the capture of the defendants in rebellion,” he said in an official letter.
Puigdemont’s lawyer has confirmed that next week – Monday or Tuesday – he will ask the General Court of the European Union (TGUE) to restore the precautionary measures against the decision of the European Parliament to lift the immunity of Puigdemont and his former councilors Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín. Although in the first instance, the Luxembourg-based court agreed to a provisional stoppage of that measure, in a ruling dated July 30 dismissed them on the grounds that they were not at risk of being detained in other EU countries, except Spain, while the preliminary ruling presented by the Supreme Court is being decided.
“We believe that the resolution issued yesterday is very important [por el viernes] the release court because it marks the path to where this is going. But, of course, it is one thing for us to solve the problem here and another is for us to be calm so that MEPs can continue to circulate freely. This implies that, necessarily, the TGUE is going to have to restore the very precautionary measures that we proposed in their day and that in their day they agreed, ”said Boye.