Spain Supreme Court summons Catalonia fugitive separatists in alleged terrorism investigation News
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Spain Supreme Court summons Catalonia fugitive separatists in alleged terrorism investigation

Spain’s Supreme Court summoned exiled Catalan separatists Carles Puigdemont and Rubén Wagensberg on Monday to provide voluntary statements in a terrorism investigation of protests related to the failed 2017 independence referendum.

The court ordered the former president of the Catalan Generalitat and MEP, Carles Puigdemont, and the former deputy of the Catalan Parliament, Rubén Wagensberg, to appear for videoconferences between June 17 and 21 accompanied by their lawyers. According to the statement, the court issued a European Investigation Order and/or an International Rogatory Commission in criminal matters through Eurojust to ascertain their whereabouts.

This summons follows the opening of the criminal case in February against Puigdemont and Wagensberg for alleged terrorism crimes in connection with the “Democratic Tsunami” case.

The Democratic Tsunami case investigates the actions of Tsunami Democràtic, a pro-independence activist group responsible for massive demonstrations following the imprisonment of Catalan pro-independence movement leaders in October 2019.

The Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court unanimously declared its jurisdiction and opened the case to investigate and potentially prosecute Puigdemont and Wagensberg for terrorism crimes related to the Democratic Tsunami case. The court considers the acts attributed to Tsunami Democràtic as falling under the crime of terrorism.

Judge Manuel García-Castellón is seeking terrorism charges against the organizers, considering Tsunami Democràtic to be a structured and hierarchical organization aimed at subverting Spain’s constitutional order and destabilizing the state economically and politically through massive social protests.

A letter published by the European Civic Forum, backed by Amnesty International and 20 other human rights organizations, denounced the indictment, emphasizing that the charges of terrorism against Catalan activists and the resulting restrictions are in violation of Spain’s obligations to uphold international human rights standards and European Union Law.

Puigdemont has lived in Belgium since the failed 2017 independence referendum to avoid prosecution. He recently announced that he will stand in Catalan regional elections on May 12 and pledged to return to Catalonia if elected regional president.

Wagensberg, Catalan MP for pro-independence Esquerra, has temporarily moved to Switzerland after being linked to the Tsunami Democràtic investigation.