Puigdemont can leave Sardinia, extradition issue pending

Exiled Catalan separatist leader freed from custody

(ANSA) - SASSARI, SEP 24 - A Sassari judge on Friday released exiled Catalan Separatist leader Carlese Puigdemont from custody following his arrest on a Spanish extradition warrant but said he must face an October 4 hearing on the extradition request, his lawyer said.
    The MEP may leave Sardinia before the first hearing on that date, said the lawyer.
    Puigdemont was arrested in Sardinia Thursday night on a warrant from Spain for alleged crimes against public order and national security in his leading a short-lived split bid by the northern region from Madrid.
    Former Catalonia President Puigdemont was arrested on a European warrant issued by Spain upon his arrival at Alghero airport.
    The Spanish government said Friday he must submit himself to justice like any other citizen.
    Puigdemont's lawyer said he would appeal Friday to the EU's general tribunal to try to get his parliamentary immunity back.
    The Italian justice ministry said it had played no role in the case, which was the sole preserve of the judges involved.
    Puigdemont's successor as Catalan president, Pere Aragones, called for his immediate release and said he would travel to Sardinia to be with the ex-leader who led the failed secession bid in October 2017.
    Puigdemont supporters demonstrated outside the Sassari court, calling for his release.
    Italy's formerly secessionist, now nationalist League party also said he should be immediately freed. (ANSA).


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