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Spain Supreme Court refuses to reinstate warrant for Catalan ex-president's arrest

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] on Monday refused [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] to reissue the arrest warrant for Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont.

Puigdemont fled [Guardian report] Spain in October after the Spanish government overtook Catalonia. He "faces possible charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his role in the push to split Catalonia from Spain." The prosecution requested the warrant be reissued international after he was reportedly in Denmark on Monday. The warrant would allow Danish authorities to arrest Puigdemont, where they otherwise could not since he is only charged with crimes in Spain.

The court rejected the prosecution's argument in denying the warrant, stating that the court's further consideration of the warrant will be postponed, where appropriate, until "a time when the constitutional order and normal parliamentary functioning can not be affected by its issuance. In addition, the development of the investigation allows the requested State to carry out a complete evaluation of the facts that support the request for collaboration." The court noted similar reasoning in December when it withdrew the international warrant, finding differences in Spain's law compared to other nations made it likely Puigdemont would not be prosecuted in full accord with Spain's laws.

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