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Carles Puigdemont

Spain drops European arrest warrant for sacked Catalan leader

MADRID: Spain has withdrawn a European arrest warrant for Catalonia's sacked leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers, who fled to Belgium after the regional parliament declared unilateral independence, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday. In a statement, the court said Judge Pablo Llarena, in charge of the case, decided to withdraw the warrant as the five have said they want to come back to Spain to participate in regional elections on December 21. He however maintains the Spanish arrest warrant and they…

Sacked Catalan leader turns himself in to Belgian police

BRUSSELS: Catalonia's sacked separatist leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers turned themselves in to Belgian police on Sunday after Spain issued a warrant for their arrest. The five, who face accusations of rebellion and sedition in Spain, were due to appear later Sunday before a judge who will decide within 24 hours whether to detain or release them. It is the latest twist in the crisis unleashed by the Catalan separatists' push to break away from Spain that sent shock waves across Europe.…

Ousted Catalan leader says ready to stand in snap regional election

MADRID/BRUSSELS: Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who left Spain for Belgium after his government was sacked following a declaration of independence, said on Friday he was ready to stand in a snap election in the region next month. Puigdemont ignored a court order to return to Spain on Thursday to answer charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds relating to Catalonia’s independence push. Nine members of his dismissed cabinet were ordered to be held in custody on Thursday pending an…

Key events since Catalonia independence vote

MADRID: Spain's Prime Minister on Wednesday gave Catalonia's separatist leader five days to clarify whether or not it was declaring independence, as he considers imposing direct rule from Madrid. Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday said the region had earned the right to break away from Spain after a disputed referendum but called for the process to be suspended to leave the door open to negotiations. Here is how events have unfolded in the worst political crisis in Spain in decades: October 1: Violence-hit referendum…

Catalan leader steps back from declaring immediate independence

BARCELONA: Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Tuesday he had accepted the "mandate of the people" for his region's independence from Spain but suspended the declaration to allow more time for talks with Madrid. In a speech to regional lawmakers in Barcelona, Puigdemont stopped short of declaring an outright split but left the door to secession open, leaving some political rivals scratching their heads. "I assume the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic," he said. But the…