VIDEO - The former Catalan regional president, who left his Belgian refuge on Monday, reiterated his desire to "form a government".
You have loved the adventures of Carles Puigdemont in Belgium? You will love his tribulations in Denmark! The former Catalan regional president, dismissed by the Spanish government and claimed by the courts after the proclamation of independence by the autonomous Parliament, left Monday his belgian refuge where he had settled at the end of October. The time of a conference at the University of Copenhagen and, in principle, a meeting with parliamentarians scheduled for Tuesday, Puigdemont has allowed an astonishing escapade in view of his judicial situation. The breakaway has given a new twist to the game of cat and mouse to which he is at bay with the Spanish courts.
Because on paper, Puigdemont's trip was risky. A Spanish court first issued a European arrest warrant (EAW) against the pro-independence leader shortly after his arrival in Brussels. But a second judge of the Supreme Court inherited the case and decided to withdraw the warrant. The Belgian justice system was slow in executing the EAW and threatened, if it delivered Puigdemont to the Spanish court, to limit the possibility of judging it only to the offenses which it considered to correspond to its own Criminal Code. In withdrawing the European mandate, and maintaining the order to arrest the former Catalan president on Spanish soil, Judge Pablo Llarena had forced Puigdemont to a choice: if he wanted to return to his region, for example to run for office a new mandate, as he announced the intention, he should go through the prison cell.
The departure from Puigdemont to Denmark has changed the game again. Copenhagen is more cooperative than Brussels in executing the EAWs. Is not there a boon to stop Puigdemont and judge him in Spain? In any case, this was considered by the prosecutor's office, which asked the Supreme Court to issue a new warrant as soon as the boarding of Puigdemont on the Charleroi-Copenhagen flight from 6:55 was confirmed.
In the afternoon, Pablo Llarena announced his refusal to issue a new MAE. The magistrate justified his position by the strategy he attributes to the former president. Puigdemont has indicated that it wants to submit to the investiture of the Regional Parliament at a distance, an option that most specialists, including the jurists of the Chamber, consider contrary to the Catalan laws.
"In the face of the legal impossibility of appearing for the nomination without appearing before Parliament," writes the judge, "the idea of provoking his arrest abroad must offer the suspect a justification for his absence, which would no longer respond to the free decision of a fugitive justice, but the consequence of a situation that would be imposed. "In the mind of the magistrate, once behind bars, and in the expectation that the Danish justice will rule on his fate, Puigdemont could argue the legal impossibility that prevents him to go to Parliament, a situation provided by the rules of the House. By this maneuver, he could successfully claim to vote by proxy, or even to submit to the nomination at a distance.
The thesis is highly interpretative, but it seems corroborated by some clues. For example, the deposed Catalan president announced Friday evening his intention to attend the conference and extend his stay for two days. If he really wanted to avoid his arrest, why did not Puigdemont rather organize a lightning trip and did not keep it secret until the last moment?
At its conference, Puigdemont reiterated its desire to "form a government despite the threats of Madrid". His opponents, two Danish professors of political science, welcomed his criticism against "Spanish authoritarianism" with skepticism. EU specialist Marlene Wind has sent her a long series of questions that resemble so many accusations. "Democracy," she asked, "is it just referendums and elections, or is it also respect for laws and the Constitution?"
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