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Ex-Catalonian Leader to Comply With European Arrest Warrant

  • VOA News

FILE - Carles Puigdemont delivers a statement at the Palau Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 28, 2017.

The former leader of Spain's Catalonia region said Saturday that he would cooperate with Belgian officials following Spanish authorities' issuance of a European warrant for his arrest.

Carles Puigdemont said in a tweet: "We are prepared to fully cooperate with Belgian justice following the European arrest warrant issued by Spain."

A Spanish judge issued the warrant for Puigdemont a day after she jailed nine members of the region's separatist government pending possible charges over last week's declaration of independence. One person was later granted bail.

Puigdemont, who was thought to be in Belgium, didn't specify his current location, though he and several aides fled to Brussels last week after Spanish authorities removed them from office.

The National Court judge filed the request with the Belgian prosecutor to detain Puigdemont and his four aides, and issued separate European search and arrest warrants to alert Interpol in case they fled Belgium.

Belgian federal prosecutors said they had received the arrest warrant and could question Puigdemont in coming days.

Puigdemont's Belgian attorney did not answer calls requesting comment, but had said that his client would fight extradition to Spain without seeking political asylum.

Puigdemont and the four others were being sought on charges that included rebellion, sedition and embezzlement as a result of a Spanish investigation into their roles in pushing for secession for Catalonia.

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