Spanish Supreme Court withdraws Carles Puigdemont global arrest warrant

Spanish Supreme Court withdraws Carles Puigdemont global arrest warrant

Spanish Supreme Court withdraws Carles Puigdemont global arrest warrant

Campaigning for the December election, called by Madrid in an effort to resolve a crisis over an independence bid by the wealthy northeastern region, started on Tuesday.

The latest opinion poll says the election outcome will be tight but that pro-independence parties will fall narrowly short of an absolute majority.

According to a statement from the court, Judge Pablo Llarena said the five wanted to participate in the regional elections, which were launched at midnight on Tuesday.

The spokesman asked not to be named in line with court rules.

Mr Puigdemont has, however, travelled to Belgium - leading Spanish authorities to issue a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to seek his deportation to face trial in Spain.

The Spanish arrest warrant remains.

It was not clear whether Puigdemont would return immediately to Spain, where he is likely to be detained pending investigations that could take months.

Yemeni women protest for body of slain leader Saleh
Following Saleh's death , the Saudi-led coalition was reported to have blitzed Sanaa with an intensified campaign of airstrikes. Houthi officials said their fighters killed Saleh as he tried to flee the capital for his nearby hometown of Sanhan.

The declaration was considered illegal by the Spanish parliament.

The disputed and ousted president is facing sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds charges in Spain relating to the calling of an independence referendum on 1 October.

Because the Belgian penal code doesn't have an equivalent for a charge of "rebellion", the Spanish court withdrew the global warrants to allow for legal action against Puigdemont, as rebellion is one of the most serious crimes attributed to him.

The charges against the Catalans are punishable by years in prison.

Two ex-cabinet members, including Vice President Oriol Junqueras, and two separatist activists remain in custody.

Mr Puigdemont has not yet reacted to the news, but his lawyer Paul Bekaert appeared surprised when he heard the news from a reporter.

A court in Belgium is expected to decide whether to extradite the former leaders later this month.

Related news