Spain Threatens to Arrest Puigdemont Over Copenhagen Visit

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Puigdemont was in Copenhagen to take part in a debate on Catalonia.

The fugitive former leader of Catalonia has arrived in Denmark and prosecutors in Spain immediately started proceedings to have him arrested and extradited. "It's time to end their oppression and find a political solution for Catalonia".

Following the Catalan independence referendum and the adoption of a resolution on the region's independence from Spain in October 2017, the Spanish parliament's upper house voted to invoke the Article 155, introducing Madrid's direct governance over Catalonia.

The Danish government says any arrest of Puigdemont is an issue for its law enforcement, according to Spanish newspaper El País (report in English).

The supreme court had previously issued a European arrest warrant when he originally travelled to Belgium only to withdraw it because Belgium does not have a crime which is the exact equivalent of rebellion.

Catalonia's parliament must hold its first vote of confidence on the new leader by January 31.

But this week, Puigdemont is visiting a university conference in Denmark.

Sources from Spain's state prosecutor's office said Pablo Llarena, the Supreme Court judge leading the sedition investigation against Puigdemont, was officially requested to reinstate an European arrest warrant in a bid to bring the sacked former region President of Catalonia back to Spain in order to face charges.

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Roger Torrent, the speaker of the newly elected parliament, said on Monday that Puigdemont has been nominated as a candidate to govern the region again.

Brussels authorities would have sent Puigdemont to Spain on charges of misuse of public funds, but not on charges of rebellion.

Carles Puigdemont landed at Copenhagen airport on Monday morning on a flight from Belgium, where he has been since fleeing Spain.

ERC's leader Oriol Junqueras is the only Catalan politician who remains in prison.

Spanish laws make it easier for someone in detention than for someone who is overseas to be granted a parliamentary proxy.

Alonso-Cuevillas has previously said that Puigdemont "could not be arrested" in Barcelona because of his immunity.

"It won't happen. The only legitimacy is that of article 155".