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Parliamentary committee summons Puigdemont to Barcelona

Former Catalan president called to testify in investigation into consequences of direct rule

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01 February 2020 11:30 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

An investigative committee in the Catalan parliament has summoned the exiled former president Carles Puigdemont to appear next Tuesday. 

Puigdemont has not set foot in Catalonia since autumn 2017, when he went into exile following the unilateral declaration of independence following the October 1 referendum. 

Spain’s response to the independence push was to dissolve the Catalan government and apply article 155 of the Spanish constitution - stripping a region of its autonomous power and ruling directly from Madrid.

The investigative committee in the parliament is looking into the consequences of this move. 

Also summoned to testify along with the ex Catalan executive are former ministers Clara Ponsatí and Lluís Puig, and former MPs Marta Rovira and Mireia Boya

Jailed leaders testify

Last week, six of the leaders jailed for their roles in the 2017 independence push were granted permission to appear to testify in the parliament

Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva, Quim Forn, Josep Rull, and Dolors Bassa all left prison temporarily to testify, to much media anticipation. 

The leaders affirmed their stance on fighting for an independent Catalonia, backed dialogue as a solution to the ongoing political crisis, called for unity among the fractured pro-independence camp, and called direct rule the “biggest mistake in democracy.” 

Unionist opposition refused to take part in the hearings, claiming the committee was “pro-independence propaganda.”

Puigdemont immunity 

It is unknown as of yet whether or not Puigdemont will appear after being summoned. 

Spanish authorities have attempted numerous times to extradite him to try him for his role in the independence bid, but failed.

Since the former president was officially declared an MEP, he would have parliamentary immunity, and may be able to come to Catalonia without fear of being arrested, but whether or not he will is not yet known.

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  • Former president Carles Puigdemont speaks to press surrounded by party colleagues, January 13, 2020 (by Natàlia Segura)

  • Former president Carles Puigdemont speaks to press surrounded by party colleagues, January 13, 2020 (by Natàlia Segura)

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