Carles Puigdemont, Catalan Ex-Leader, Is Detained by German Police

Marsha Scott
March 26, 2018

In Barcelona on the streets are thousands of people with Catalan flags.

German police confirmed that Puidgemont was arrested at 11.19 am on Sunday morning.

Police did not say exactly where Puigdemont, who had been living in Brussels since late October, was being held but the Spanish press said he was at a police station in the nearby town of Schuby.

Puigdemont's party spokeswoman Anna Grabalosa said the arrest "happened as he crossed the Danish-German border".

Riot police stand guard after a smoke bomb was thrown during scuffles between protesters and police blocking the road leading to the central government offices during a demonstration in Barcelona on March 25, 2018 after Catalonia's former president was arrested by German police.

According to reports he was attempting to return to Belgium from Finland by auto when it appeared Finnish authorities were going to arrest him.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was arrested on Sunday in Germany, his lawyer said.

A Spanish police official told the AP under customary condition of anonymity that Spain's National Center for Intelligence and police agents from its worldwide cooperation division helped German police to make the arrest.

A Spanish judge reactivated an worldwide warrant for Puigdemont and five other fugitive separatist leaders from northeastern Spain on Friday.

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Global warrants for Mr Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders were withdrawn in December by a Spanish judge, who said they had shown a willingness to return to the country. Spain has also issued five warrants for other separatist who fled the country.

He faces charges of rebellion, rioting, and misappropriation of public funds.

Mr Puigdemont went into self-imposed exile in Belgium previous year, shortly after the Catalan parliament made a symbolic declaration of independence from Spain. The national government deemed the referendum illegal, but Puigdemont, who was the president of Catalonia at the time, went ahead with the referendum anyway.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge had reactivated an worldwide arrest warrant for Puigdemont on Friday while the latter was visiting Finland.

The detention of the fugitive ex-leader of secession-minded Catalonia has sparked mixed reactions in Spain.

Pro-independence groups called on Sunday for a protest in Barcelona in support of Puigdemont outside the offices of the delegation of the European Commission and the German consulate.

The ex-leader's supporters have gathered in Barcelona to protest his arrest.

"I hope they will not extradite him but I am not very optimistic", said Rosa Vela, a 60-year-old teacher.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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