Former Catalan president arrested while crossing border

Frederick Owens
March 26, 2018

Five months after going on the run from Spanish authorities, Catalonia's former president was detained in Germany on an global warrant Sunday by highway police after the ardent separatist crossed the border with Denmark.

Former regional leader faces up to 25 years on sedition charges in Spain.

Note that on October 1 in Catalonia, a referendum on independence was held.

According to Catalan public radio, CDR members blocked several roads in Catalonia, causing traffic jams, just as they did during two strikes in the region a year ago called to protest police violence during the independence referendum.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, centre, walks in the park with elected Catalan lawmakers of his Together for Catalonia party in Brussels on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. The plebiscite was not, however, recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government.

Puigdemont supported a referendum in October seeking the independence of Catalonia from Spain.

"It happened as he crossed the Danish-German border", Grabalosa added. Three people have also been arrested.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office will submit the required documents to their German counterparts and the Eurojust agency to enable the extradition of the former President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, local media reported.

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In reaction to the arrest, large protests have broken out in Catalonia, with tensions in some areas running high.

Spanish and German press said Sunday that the Catalan leader was being held at a police station in the German northern town of Schuby.

Puigdemont had been wanted in Spain since leading a parliamentary session in October a year ago that saw separatist lawmakers vote for the region of Catalonia to declare independence from Spain.

Puigdemont was detained shortly after noon in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein on the basis of the European arrest warrant issued by Spain. Puigdemont was arrested Sunday by German police on an global warrant as he tried to enter the country from Denmark.

Puigdemont's arrest came just two days after Spain's supreme court it would prosecute for "rebellion" 13 Catalan separatists, including Puigdemont and his nominated successor Jordi Turull, over their role in the region's failed breakaway bid.

Puigdemont is not the only separatist leader being sought by Spain.

Puigdemont had entered Germany from Denmark after leaving Finland on Friday when it appeared police would arrest him there and launch an extradition process requested by Spain.

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