Italian police arrested Catalan independence leader and MEP Carles Puigdemont at an airport in Sardinia on Thursday. He is to appear in court on Friday and could be extradited to Spain, which is hunting him for “sedition”, EUobserver reports.
Pere Aragones, president of Catalonia condemned what he called Puigdemont’s “persecution and judicial repression”.
Spain has accused Puigdemont of sedition for a breakaway independence referendum in 2017 that the courts ruled illegal. At the time he was president of Catalonia but fled to Belgium after the vote. He lives there and sits as a member of the European Parliament. He was stripped of his European Parliament immunity in March this year.
The Spanish government said in a statement: “The arrest of Mr Puigdemont corresponds to an ongoing judicial procedure that applies to any EU citizen who has to answer to the courts.” He should “submit to the action of justice like any other citizen”, it added, BBC reports.