Puigdemont provisional free man; Italian judge suspends ruling

Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont is not handed over to Spain by Italy for the time being. It was expected that the Italian judges would make a decision on that today. But they want to wait for decisions from the European Court of Justice first.

Puigdemont walked outside the court in Sardinia this afternoon and said he was very happy with the decision. Hes allowed to go and stand where he wants for now. Puigdemont shook hands with several dozen supporters and then disappeared into a van.

Awaiting

Spain wants to prosecute the former Catalan president for organizing the independence referendum in 2017, but the Sardinian court, according to Puigdemonts lawyer Agostinangelo Marras, wants to wait for two judgments from European judges.

Firstly, according to Marras, the Italian judges want to know how European judges judge Puigdemonts political immunity. In recent years he has been politically inviolable as a MEP. But this immunity was lifted by the European Parliament at the request of Spain at the beginning of this year.

The European court did not want to reverse that at first, but now that surrender to Spain appears to be a possibility, Puigdemont has once again asked the judges to restore its political immunity.

Legitimate

Moreover, according to Marras, it must first be clear whether the Spanish Supreme Courts arrest warrant is legitimate, and the Court of Justice of the European Union is also concerned.

Puigdemont was arrested last month while visiting a cultural festival in Sardinia. After his arrest, he was parole and stayed in Brussels. Today he returned to Sassari on the Italian island to hear the courts decision.