losangelesnewstoday.com May 23, 2018

Carles Puigdemont: new bid to arrest Catalan ex-president

24 January 2018, 12:28 | Nina Hammond

Spain rules out Puigdemont becoming Catalonia leader again

Spanish government refuses decision by sacked Catalonia leader to rule remotely

Puigdemont's visit to Denmark could help him avoid problems in Belgium, where European citizens can live without a residency permit for three months, after which they theoretically have to leave.

Spain's Supreme Court on Monday said it will not reactivate an worldwide warrant to arrest deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, after he flew to Denmark from Belgium, The Guardian reported.

Puigdemont has been in exile in Belgium since the start of November after leaving Spain in the wake of the Catalan independence referendum and unilateral declaration of independence.

A European arrest warrant was then issued for Puigdemont, and although it was lifted again on December 5, there is still a warrant out for Puigdemont's arrest in Spain.

Puigdemont was charged after he fled Spain.

But Mr Puigdemont's supporters say it would be possible with modern technology.

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"If Catalans can't change their laws and leaders, that means there is no democracy in Catalonia", he said, adding that Catalans "will not surrender to authoritarianism".

As Spain's legal system wrestled over arresting Puigdemont, the ousted leader's name was put forward as a candidate for president.

Puigdemont moved to Brussels at end of October with five of his advisors, although two of m returned to Spain.

But this week, Puigdemont is visiting a university conference in Denmark. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reiterated on Saturday it would be considered "illegal". He apparently travelled to the city to host a debate on Catalonia.

Earlier, the Catalan parliament's speaker, Roger Torrent, said Mr Puigdemont's candidacy to head the regional government was "absolutely legitimate" despite the charges against him. He is also scheduled to meet Danish lawmakers on Tuesday.

Spain issued a warrant for Puigdemont's arrest in November, but withdrew it after a month amid fears that Brussels would send him back but restrict the crimes he could be tried for.

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