Italian court suspends extradition from Puidgemont to Spain

The Court of Appeal in Sassari has suspended the process of extradition of Carles Puidgemont to Spain. The former president of the government of Catalonia is on the Italian island of Sardinia, where he was detained.

That court asked the Supreme Court of Italy to suspend the process until the General Court of the European Union resolves the immunity process requested by the former Catalan leader, a decision that is expected in the coming weeks.

The Court of Appeal of Sassari decided to suspend the decision until the European Court of Justice first resolves two questions, the one concerning the immunity of President Puigdemont and the one concerning the competence of the Spanish judge to issue a procedure like the one he issued”, said Agostinangelo Marras, the Spaniard’s lawyer, at the end of the hearing.

The court’s decision follows a request from the local Public Ministry, which requested the suspension of the extradition process.

The General Court of the European Union has on the table an appeal from Puigdemont asking for his immunity as an MEP to be returned, following his arrest and subsequent release in Italy last week.

Spanish Supreme Court Magistrate Pablo Llarena, who is instructing the case against the former Catalan president in Spain, asked the Court of Appeal in Sassari to agree with the handing over of the politician to Spain, because the preliminary action does not suspend the European order , which is “active”, and the MEP has no immunity.

The October 2017 secession attempt of Catalonia, an autonomous community with a population of 7.8 million inhabitants, marked one of the main political crises experienced in Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975.

Despite being banned by the courts, the regional government, which at the time was chaired by Carles Puigdemont, held, on October 1, 2017, a referendum on the self-determination of the territory, which was marked by police violence and followed, a few weeks later, for a declaration of independence.

The Spanish government, which at the time was led by the Popular Party (right), placed the region under the direct tutelage of Madrid and arrested the main independence leaders who had not fled abroad.

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