Supreme Court rejects reissuing European arrest warrant against Puigdemont

Judge says Catalan president intends to “force” being arrested to have more chances of being sworn in at a distance

A police van outside the Spanish Supreme Court (by Xavier Alsinet)
A police van outside the Spanish Supreme Court (by Xavier Alsinet) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 22, 2018 02:07 PM

The Spanish Supreme Court rejected reissuing a European arrest warrant against Carles Puigdemont on Monday. The Spanish prosecutor requested the move immediately after discovering that Puigdemont had travelled from Belgium to Denmark earlier on Monday. But the judge in the Supreme Court did not accept the appeal to reissue the European arrest warrant on the grounds that the Catalan president intends to “force” being arrested. 
According to the judge, if he was behind bars, he would better “argue” the case of being sworn in as president at a distance or asking for a delegate vote. Two weeks ago, the Spanish Supreme Court did not allow a permit for jailed vice president Oriol Junqueras to turn up in Parliament, but left the door open for him to vote by proxy. In the opening session of the new term, the interim bureau let him delegate his vote, and no unionist parties or Spanish government appealed against the decision. 

After the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision, Puigdemont will be able to spend as many days as he wishes in Denmark without being arrested. Yet his plans are to return to Brussels later on this week. By January 31, the debate to pick a president is to be held in the Catalan chamber, and it is still uncertain how he will try to be sworn in. The Catalan Parliament president nominated Puigdemont as candidate ahead of the debate.