Catalan separatist Carles Puccimon wanted in Spain to lead a failed secession movement in his area four years ago, but Monday a few days after his brief detention and release by Italian authorities. Leaving Italy.
Mr. Puccimon’s dramatic seizures and exits raised and shattered the hopes of Spanish prosecutors. The prosecutor once again saw another European country release him. Italian authorities acted on the European Arrest Warrant obtained by Spain. Spain is about to be tried for incitement after Mr. Puccimon’s attempt to establish an independent Catalonia has failed.
“He left for Brussels this morning,” said Puccimon’s lawyer, Agostinangelo Maras. Mr. Puccimon’s office in Brussels confirmed that he had left Italy and said he would attend a meeting in Brussels on Monday afternoon.
Member of the European Parliament Puccimon lives freely in Brussels. The Belgian government refused to send him back to Spain for trial, and a German court sent him in 2018 after a brief detention there.
An Italian court will act on the arrest warrant next week to begin considering whether to send Mr. Puccimon to Spain for criminal liability. Despite his departure, his lawyer said he would return to Italy for a court decision.
Italian police arrested Puccimon on Thursday when he attended a Catalan folk festival on Sardinia, where he landed at the airport to meet independent leaders.
But on Friday, an Italian court ordered his release and ruled that Mr. Puccimon’s position as a member of the European Parliament gave him the right to leave the country to attend a meeting in Brussels.
On Friday afternoon, Puccimon posted his photo on Twitter and left prison in the city of Sassari.
“Spain never misses the opportunity to annoy itself,” he wrote with the hashtag #NoSurrender.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday that his government would respect judicial decisions, but added that “it is clear that Puccimon must face justice.”
Spain has repeatedly issued international warrants to prosecute Mr. Puccimon. But the latest effort is a separatist politician who aims to end the territorial dispute, which was Spain’s biggest political headache, more than a week after Sanchez visited Barcelona, the provincial capital of Catalonia. It happened at the crucial moment of starting a new negotiation with. The last 10 years.
An Italian court demanded that Mr. Puccimon be in Sassari for a hearing on October 4 to assess whether Mr. Puccimon would return to Spain. However, Italian legal experts said that if Mr. Puccimon did not return to Italy for trial, his absence would simply terminate the proceedings.
Roberto de Vita, an international lawyer based in Rome, said:
“The court hearing may be technically ongoing, but the case is over,” said Stefano Maffei, a law professor specializing in handing over at the University of Parma and the European Arrest Warrant. “Ultimately, the court gave him freedom. They are unlikely to arrest him again.”
An Italian court found that Mr. Puccimon’s immunity across Europe, which was granted in the 2019 European Parliament elections, was despite the same European Parliament stripping his immunity in March and the European Court upholding the decision. “Still intact,” he said. July.
A lawyer defending Mr. Puccimon says the Spanish arrest warrant had been suspended before his trip to Italy, but an Italian judge confirmed the arrest.
On Monday, Spanish legal experts also continued to discuss whether he should be detained in Sardinia in the first place.
Italy, like most Western European countries, has laws protecting foreigners in its territory that would be prosecuted for political overtones in its own country, as Mr. Puccimon has been accused. Similar French principles allowed many Italian terrorists to live there freely for decades, but were arrested earlier this year. None of them have returned to Italy yet.
From Brussels, Mr. Puccimon continues to be very influential in Catalan politics.
Catalan leaders who stayed in Spain to face a trial in support of the 2017 independent bid were convicted and sentenced to long imprisonment, but Sanchez pardoned them. His government said there could be no amnesty for people like Mr. Puccimon who fled the country until they were tried.
Raphael Minder contributed to the report from Madrid.