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Puigdemont lawyer: to resume presidency, “only option” is to return and face prison

Should Carles Puigdemont return from Brussels to be reelected as Catalan president, Spanish justice will most likely jail him

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23 December 2017 02:28 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Should Carles Puigdemont return from Belgium in order to be reelected as Catalonia’s president following a victory of pro-independence parties in Thursday’s election, his lawyer says he will most likely be arrested and sent to prison by the Spanish justice.

Parties advocating for a Catalan state held on to a majority at the Parliament, thus theoretically granting Puigdemont enough votes to form a government. However, the charges he faces for leading the push for independence—and which prompted him to leave the country in the first place—might impede him to do so.

His dilemma is two-fold: whether to stay in Brussels and let another pro-independence candidate assume the presidential position, or to come back and risk arrest.

According to Puigdemont’s defense attorney, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, the “only option” his defendant has for being reelected president is “coming back”. In an interview with RAC1 radio, Alonso-Cuevillas said that—at least in theory—Puigdemont should be able to take up the presidency while in prison; yet, the lawyer stressed that Puigdemont will depend on a State that “is willing to do everything” and there is “a very high risk” that they will find a way to impede him from assuming office.

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  • Lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas visiting his defendants in prison (Roger Pi de Cabanyes)