Puigdemont’s travel companions freed without preventive measures
Two Catalan police and a historian present at time of deposed president’s arrest are accused of aiding and abetting
The two Catalan police officers and historian Josep Lluís Alay who were accompanying Carles Puigdemont when he was arrested in Germany on March 25 have been allowed to walk free without any preventive measures against them.
Spain’s National Court judge residing over their case, Diego de Egea, had summoned them for the alleged crime of aiding and abetting. The businessman and close friend of Puigdemont, Josep Maria Matamala, who was also present when the dismissed president was detained, did not attend the hearing as his current residence is in Belgium.
The two members of the Mossos, the Catalan police force, only responded to questions from their own lawyer, according to sources. They explained that they went to Finland , where Puigdemont travelled before being arrested in Germany, when they learned that Spain’s Supreme Court had issued an arrest warrant against him, in order to accompany him to the Belgian prosecutor. At the time of his arrest, Puigdemont was travelling through Germany in order to return to Belgium, where he was residing at the time.
Th three of them alongside Matamala were summoned to present themselves before the judge at 10am on Monday morning.
On March 28, Spanish police arrested all of them but Matamala, whose permanent residence is in Belgium but who is currently in Germany, where he regularly accompanies Puigdemont to public events and interviews. Matamala told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that he has not officially been served a summons to appear in the Spanish Court.
After his arrest, Puigdemont was released days later and is currently facing an extradition request. The German prosecutor has asked the judge to send him back to Spain to face charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds. However, in a preliminary decision on the case, the judge said that he didn't see grounds for a crime of rebellion and had detected irregularities related to the misuse of funds charge.