The Court of Appeal of Sassari (Italy) suspended the arrest and surrender warrant against the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont pending the ruling of the Court of the European Union on his immunity.
“We respect all judicial decisions, those we like more and those we like less”, declared yesterday in Paris the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, after the decision of the Italian court. “We prefer to focus on the agenda of reconciliation, which is positive for Catalonia, for Spain and also for Europe,” he added.
According to defense sources informed Europa Press agency, the judges have decided to wait for the EU General Court to rule on the scope of the immunity as an MEP of Puigdemont, who testified yesterday before the Italian court in the hearing in which a decision on his extradition was to be taken.
Puigdemont was arrested last September 23 by the Italian police upon his arrival at the airport of Alghero, in Sardinia, although he was released hours later on condition that he remains in Sardinia for a few days, until the justice system decides on his procedural situation.
After the arrest, the investigating judge of the procés case, Pablo Llarena, informed the Italian judicial authorities that the process against the former president “is still pending” and, therefore, the Euro warrant issued on October 14, 2019 against Puigdemont for sedition and embezzlement is still in force, which could lead to his extradition.
The basis of this problem is the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (TEU) of last July 30 in which it lifted the provisional measures suspending the MEP immunity of Puigdemont, MEP for JxCAT. On that occasion, the Luxembourg Court considered that it was not necessary to maintain the precautionary measures accepted in June – and that temporarily paralyzed the suspension of immunity adopted by the European Parliament – considering that the withdrawal of immunity did not affect their movements as parliamentarians and neither was it accredited that they could be subject to an “imminent arrest” for their delivery “to the Spanish authorities”. This detail of the order is precisely what Puigdemont’s defense has used to request the General Court of the EU to return to the former president the provisional immunity that this same body had withdrawn.