Spain has issued a new international arrest warrant for former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont. This was reported by the Supreme Court after nine other separatist leaders were convicted.
Puigdemont is currently living in Belgian exile again. He escaped prosecution in Spain by fleeing exile in Brussels after organizing a referendum on independence in October 2017 that found the judiciary illegal.
On the return journey, he was arrested on 25 March in Schleswig-Holstein near the Danish border for a European arrest warrant issued by Spain at a motorway service area. The former journalist was briefly sent to a prison in Neumünster, but was later released under conditions.
In July, Schleswig-Holstein's Higher Regional Court overturned the extradition order against Puigdemont. The Supreme Court in Madrid had previously waived the extradition of the 55-year-old. The background: The Schleswig judge had declared an extradition only on suspicion of embezzlement admissible - but not because of rebellion, the main charge of the Spanish judiciary.
So Puigdemont could have been convicted in Spain only for embezzlement. But that was not enough for Madrid. In Spain, however, the arrest warrant continued to exist - Puigdemont then returned to Belgian exile.