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Unionist parties call for EU arrest warrant reform over Puigdemont case

People’s Party urges European Parliament to take action, while Ciutadans will back new Justice Commissioner-to-be if he reviews extradition system

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13 September 2019 03:01 PM

by

ACN|Barcelona

Spanish unionist parties have put pressure on European Union institutions to reform the EU arrest warrant system as a result of Carles Puigdemont’s case.

The former Catalan president went into exile following the declaration of independence in late October 2017 and Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him.

But after two attempts, Spain’s judiciary failed to extradite Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders from Belgium – and Germany as well in the case of Puigdemont – since they refused to turn them in on charges of rebellion and or misuse of public funds.

For almost two years, Spain’s People’s Party has been demanding that the European arrest warrant system be reformed to guarantee that cases like Puigdemont’s end in extradition.

Yet on Friday, the right-wing party asked the European Parliament to prepare a report on the matter to “review” the system – in the coming weeks, the chamber’s justice committee will decide on whether to publish a paper on the issue or not.

“A deficient execution of a European arrest warrant might lead to impunity cases that we have to avoid,” said People’s Party MEP Javier Zarzalejos.

Pressure on next Justice Commissioner

Meanwhile, unionist Ciutadans MEP Jordi Cañas – member of the liberal group – told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that his party will back the new Justice Commissioner-to-be, Didier Reynders, as long as he commits to reforming the European arrest warrant system.

For Cañas, only this would “guarantee the freedoms” of the people and “law enforcement.” 

“We hope he can have our support,” Cañas added.

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  • MEP Jordi Cañas speaking to the Catalan News Agency at the European Parliament on September 12, 2019 (Natàlia Segura/ACN)

  • MEP Jordi Cañas speaking to the Catalan News Agency at the European Parliament on September 12, 2019 (Natàlia Segura/ACN)

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