Catalonia crisis: ex-president Puigdemont faces wait for extradition verdict
Belgian judge delays decision over separatist leader’s future as two jailed former members of his government lose bail bid
Madrid’s Supreme Court denied bail today to two senior Catalan politicians and two protest leaders facing charges of sedition and rebellion - but former president Carles Puigdemont must wait until mid-December to learn a Belgium court’s decision on Spain’s extradition request.
The announcements came as campaigning was getting under way for pivotal elections on 21 December to determine the course of the region’s independence movement, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Puigdemont’s legal team have argued that the former president and four of his former ministers won’t get a fair trial in Spain, where they have been accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail sentence - and sedition for holding the 1 October independence referendum. Belgian judges today postponed the decision on their extradition until 14 December.
Lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas, representing Puigdemont, told Catalan radio station Rac 1 that his client was not likely to be in Spain for this month’s election because of the protracted extradition hearing, and may not be released until mid-January.
Under today’s Spanish Supreme Court ruling, six other senior figures linked to the Catalan separatist movement who were jailed in Spain may walk free pending bail of €100,000 (£88,000) each, reports the BBC.