Catalan Separatist Leader, Carles Puigdemont, Arrested in Italy

The arrest of Carles Puigdemont, on the island of Sardinia, came on an international arrest warrant issued by Spain’s Supreme Court on charges of sedition.,


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MADRID — Carles Puigdemont, the former separatist leader of Spain’s Catalonia region, was arrested by Italian police Thursday night on the island of Sardinia, his office said in a statement, on an arrest warrant issued by Spain’s top court on charges of sedition.

Mr. Puigdemont, a member of the European Parliament, had been traveling to the Sardinian city of Alghero from Brussels, where he fled to avoid the charges. He had gone to Sardinia to attend a Catalan folklore festival known as the Adifolk Conference, the statement from his office said. When he arrived at the airport, he was detained by the police.

He faces a trial in Spain for his leading role in an unsuccessful attempt to declare an independent state in Catalonia in the fall of 2017, following a referendum that the Spanish government and courts had declared illegal to hold.

In March of this year, the European Parliament stripped him of his immunity, a move he has been fighting in the courts.

Josep Costa, an attorney working with Mr. Puigdemont, wrote on Twitter that his team believed he would be released in a few hours and called the arrest wrong.

“The shame will remain on Spain for history,” he wrote.

Spain’s government had no immediate comment on the arrest.

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