Lawyers welcome end to Spain’s pursuit of exiled leaders
Legal representatives of Catalan officials abroad express satisfaction over Supreme Court decision to drop extradition requests
“Sensible” and “logical” was how Carles Puigdemont’s lawyers in Germany reacted to the news that Spanish Supreme Court judge, Pablo Llarena, had decided to withdraw the European Arrest Warrants he had issued for the former Catalan president and five other political leaders seeking refuge abroad.
Puigdemont’s lawyer in Germany, Wolfgang Schomburg, said in a statement that from the outset he and his defense team had insisted that “political conflicts have to be resolved politically.” Schomburg added: “The decision is sensible. It is the logical consequence of our efforts in the past few weeks and months.”
Another of Puigdemont’s lawyers, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, reacted by joking that he had been “left without a client.” The lawyer added that once the German court decided not to extradite Puigdemont for rebellion and only for misuse of public funds, he had suspected Llarena would drop the warrant rather than leave it to Germany’s Constitutional Court.
"The decision is sensible. It is the logical consequence of our efforts in the past few weeks and months"
Puigdemont's German judicial team
Talking to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) before speaking to his client, Cuevillas said he thought the former president would return to Belgium, where the courts had already ruled against extraditing him for rebellion. Cuevillas also said that dropping the warrants for the other exiled leaders was to be expected, to avoid the same situation as that of Puigdemont.
"A recognition of defeat"
Another of Puigdemont’s lawyers, Gonzalo Boye, judged the dropping of the warrant for his client, and those for former ministers Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret, Lluís Puig, Clara Ponsatí, and for ERC party leader, Marta Rovira, to be “very positive.” Boye told ACN that Llarena’s decision is “a recognition of defeat,” and he added that “the domino effect is unstoppable.”
With Germany refusing to extradite Puigdemont for rebellion, after a Belgian court rejected extraditing Comín, Serret and Puig, all eyes were on Scotland, where Ponsatí’s extradition was still ongoing. The former minister’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, welcomed the news on Twitter, calling it “humiliation for Spain and a tribute to the courage of Catalans.”