The Catalan leader has fled to Belgium after the Spanish authorities sacked him and his administration in the wake of the declaration of Catalonia’s independence.
According to the Brussels bar association source, former head of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont has a chance to escape the punishment in Spain.
“If Puigdemont and his colleagues refuse to be extradited to Spain, the advisory chamber will have 15 days to decide on the European arrest warrant. In case of the decision against Puigdemont, he will have 24 hours to file an appeal and the investigators will have 15 days to consider it. Afterward, it is perhaps possible to appeal to the Court of Cassation”, the source told Sputnik in an interview.
On Friday, Belgian prosecutors confirmed that they had received a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont and four other ex-members of the Catalan government, issued by the Spanish court. In the next few days, Belgian judicial investigator is expected to summon Puigdemont for the interrogation.
On Thursday, a Spanish court ordered to put eight former members of the Catalan government, including ousted Vice President Oriol Junqueras, into custody. They are accused of organizing an uprising and embezzling state funds. Puigdemont as well as four ex-ministers are currently in Belgium and did not appear before the court. Puigdemont and other former Generalitat members are facing charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of state funds.
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After the Catalan parliament voted in favor of secession from Spain last week following the contested independence referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on the rebellious region, dissolved the parliament and removed Puigdemont and his Cabinet. However, the ousted Catalan leader refused to recognize the dismissal of the government and called for “democratic resistance” to direct rule by Madrid.