Former president Puigdemont to return to Catalonia by end of year, says lawyer
MEP Ponsatí does not intend to go upcoming hearing on April 24, risking a second arrest
The former Catalan president and current MEP for Junts, Carles Puigdemont, will return to Catalonia before the end of the year, his lawyer Gonzalo Boye said on Wednesday morning during an interview with RAC1 radio station.
"Neither Clara [Ponsatí], Toni [Comín], nor the president [Carles Puigdemont] are scared of being detained," Boye said.
In addition to Puigdemont, the president at the time of the 2017 independence vote who has been in exile since not long thereafter, Boye also represents MEP Clara Ponsatí, who was arrested and released on Tuesday evening after returning to Catalonia for the first time in over five years.
Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena called on her to attend a hearing on April 24 at 11 am to formally notify her of her charges. However, Boye already said that the "former minister does not have any intention of appearing before a judge voluntarily as he is not competent to trial her."
Gonzalo Boye will also file a complaint with the Spanish Constitutional Court and inform the European Court of Justice regarding the 'habeas corpus' he submitted on Tuesday afternoon regarding what he considers an "unlawful" detention as Ponsatí has provisional parliamentary immunity as an MEP.
"We believe the illegality of detaining Clara Ponsatí is a decision made by the Supreme court, and we will now take the appropriate legal action," he said.
Conservatives call for government not to pardon
The conservative People's Party (PP) have called on the Spanish government not to pardon Carles Puigdemont, as they have done with the other independence leaders who spent a number of years in prison before being released.
Sources from the right-wing PP say that the former Catalan president and former minister Toni Comín, now both MEPs and living in exile as Ponsatí had been, should also be arrested.
They also criticize the Spanish government for the pardons and the recent reform of the penal code, eliminating the crime of sedition, as they say this shows that the greatest ally of the pro-independence movement is the Prime Minister of Spain himself.
"Spain needs a government that is for the unity of Spain and not with those who intend to break it", they say. They also promise that if they return to government, PP will bring the crimes of rebellion and sedition back to the penal code.