Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan separatist leader had earlier fled Spain after leading a botched independence attempt. on Thursday, his lawyer said that he was arrested on the Italian island of Sardinia.
Gonzalo Boye said on Twitter that Puigdemont was arrested upon his arrival to Sardinia, where he was traveling in his role as a member of the European Parliament (MEP).
Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont has been arrested in Italy, his lawyer and an aide say.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 24, 2021
Puigdemont fled Spain four years ago following an independence referendum that Madrid ruled unconstitutionalhttps://t.co/Io2L4GnIi9 pic.twitter.com/tUtYrkQDrD
This is not the first time Puigdemont has been arrested since he fled Spain in 2017 after holding an illegal referendum on independence and subsequently declaring his intention to split the region from Spain. He was arrested in both Belgium and Germany, but authorities in those countries have refused to extradite him.
In Spain, he faces major charges, including rebellion and sedition.
Few details are known about the latest arrest, except that Puigdemont was traveling to Sardinia to participate in an event about Catalan culture.
Sardinia, which is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, is home to a separatist movement of its own.
Spain has made promises to the ECJ. Either Italy made a mistake or Spain misled the ECJ. In any case, if both member states respect the rule of law and the ECJ, then Italy must immediately release Carles Puigdemont #freepuigdemont— Simon Bekaert (@Simonbekaert) September 23, 2021
As an MEP, Puigdemont did get automatic immunity from being arrested. However, last March, the European Parliament voted to strip him of that legal protection.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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