Supporters chant ‘freedom’ at Catalan chief’s extradition heading

32

SASSARI, Italy, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Catalan separatist chief Carles Puigdemont appeared in courtroom on Monday in Sardinia the place a choose will determine whether or not to extradite him to Spain to face sedition fees linked to Catalonia’s 2017 failed independence bid.

A couple of dozen supporters gathered outdoors, waving Catalan and Sardinian flags and chanting “freedom” as he arrived.

Italian police arrested Puigdemont on Sept. 23 after he flew into the island for a Catalan folklore pageant. learn extra

The officers have been performing underneath a European arrest warrant issued by Spain which has demanded Italy extradite Puigdemont. He headed Catalonia’s regional authorities on the time of a vote on independence from Spain in 2017 – a plebiscite that Spanish courts say was unlawful.

A choose within the metropolis of Sassari launched Puigdemont much less then 24 hours later and allowed him to depart Italy however set a courtroom listening to on Monday to determine on the legality of the arrest warrant. learn extra

Puigdemont has been residing in self-imposed exile in Belgium since shortly after the referendum.

The 58-year-old has served as a member of the European Parliament since 2019, however he was stripped of immunity from prosecution by that physique’s lawmakers in March.

Puigdemont’s legal professionals argue there have been no grounds to arrest him and he must be free till the European Court of Justice resolves their enchantment on the European Parliament’s resolution to take away his immunity.

Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced 9 different Catalan separatist leaders to prolonged jail phrases in 2019 for his or her position within the 2017 try to interrupt away from Spain. They have been pardoned in June.

Reporting by Guglielmo Mangiapane and Alex Fraser in Sassari and Joan Faus in Barcelona; modifying by Inti Landauro and Andrew Heavens

A general view of the courthouse before expected arrival of Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, in Sassari, Italy, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont arrives at a courthouse in Sardinia, as a judge holds the first hearing on his European arrest warrant, in Sassari, Italy, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Jordi Sanchez speaks to the media, as Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont (not pictured) arrives at a courthouse in Sardinia at the first hearing on his European arrest warrant, in Sassari, Italy, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane