Sunday, September 26, 2021

What an Ugly sight to behold! The European Parliament has marginalised Spain's 'Hong Kong' leader whilst the USA remains dumbstruck silent

Guardian (Aus Ed):

Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont arrested in Sardinia

Former head of autonomous government to appear in court to hear Spanish case for extradition

Carles Puigdemont’s immunity as a member of the European parliament was removed in March. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain four years ago in the wake of a failed unilateral bid for regional independence, is due to appear in court in Sardinia after being detained by police shortly after arriving on the Italian island on Thursday.

Puigdemont, now an MEP living in Belgium, is wanted by Spanish courts over his alleged role in the unilateral independence referendum and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence in October 2017. He faces charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

In a statement, Puigdemont’s office said he had been detained on Thursday while on his way to attend a cultural event in the Sardinian city of Alghero and meet the regional head of Sardinia and its ombudsman.

EU parliament strips Carles Puigdemont and two other Catalans of immunity

“When he arrived at Alghero airport, he was stopped by the Italian border police. [On Friday] he will be placed at the disposal of the judges of the court of appeal of Sassari, which is competent to decide whether to release him or extradite him,” the statement said.

According to reports in the Italian press, the hearing could be postponed until Saturday.

“We are waiting to acquire some documents and only after that will the validation hearing be set,” Agostinangelo Marras, Puigdemont’s lawyer in Sardinia, told journalists outside the court of appeals in Sassari on Friday morning.

Separatists from the Independence Republic of Sardinia party have gathered outside the court in solidarity with Puigdemont.

“The situation isn’t clear,” said the party’s spokesperson, Simone Maulu. “We believe that the community must act immediately because, if the Spanish state has issued an arrest order without notifying the European parliament, it must act to restore parliamentary immunity.”

Cristiano Sabino, a spokesperson for a Sardinian pro-independence activist group, Sa Domo de Totu (Everyone’s house), said Puigdemont should be released.

“Puigdemont is a democratic European parliamentarian who travels Europe freely and it’s shameful that when he arrives in Sardinia, he gets arrested,” he said.

Puigdemont and two of his former ministers, Antoni Comín and Carla Ponsatí – who also fled Spain and are also MEPs – were stripped of their immunity by the European parliament in March this year. But the decision to lift their legal immunity can still be appealed.

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, said his client had travelled to Sardinia in his capacity as an MEP, and said the Spanish arrest warrant issued for the former Catalan chief had been suspended. However, Spanish judicial sources told the media that the warrant, issued by the supreme court, remained active.

In a statement, the Spanish government said Puidgemont “needs to answer for his acts before the courts, just like any other EU citizen”, adding that it respected the decisions of the Italian courts and authorities.

Previous attempts to extradite Puigdemont from Germany and Belgium have proved unsuccessful.

The arrest comes a week after the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, met the current pro-independence Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, for talks aimed at resolving the political impasse over the future of the region.

Sánchez’s Socialist-led coalition government has shown a far less confrontational approach to the Catalan question than its predecessor. The conservative government of Mariano Rajoy deployed police to stop the October 2017 referendum, which was ruled illegal and unconstitutional by Spanish courts. With the support of the senate, Rajoy then used constitutional powers to assume control of the region, dissolve its parliament and call fresh elections.

Sánchez’s more moderate approach has been fiercely criticised by his opponents. In June, the government took the controversial and divisive step of pardoning nine of the Catalan independence leaders who were convicted for their roles in the unsuccessful push for seccession.

The prime minister acknowledged the decision could prove unpopular, but said it was “the best one for Catalonia, the best one for Spain, and the one which most closely represents the spirit of coexistence and harmony set out in the Spanish constitution”.

Puidgdemont was not included in the pardons as he has never faced trial.

Aragonès offered his support to Puigdemont, saying the “persecution and judicial repression” had to stop, and repeating calls for an amnesty and for Catalan self-determination.

Members of the Catalan national assembly, an influential pro-independence civil society group, staged a protest outside the Italian consulate in Barcelona on Friday morning.

Alghero hosted a significant Catalan community after it was conquered in the 14th century by the Aragonese crown and strong cultural links have been maintained to this day, with its Catalan dialect still recognised as a minority language.

Puigdemont was due to be guest of honour at the three-day AdiFolk festival, where Catalan folk musicians and dancers will perform. He was also due to attend an assembly of Sardinian separatists on Sunday in Oristano. Sardinia has its own independence movement, with activists campaigning in 2014 for the island to be sold to Switzerland.



    There is good evidence to show that Carles Puigdemont's party or he himself was collaborating with a foreign power, Russian intelligence services to promote Catalonian secession.

    The Yanks have good reason to be very dubious and suspicious of the Catalonian secessionist movement.

    1. There is good evidence to show that the Hongkie brats were receiving financial backing, encouragement from US, meaning they were collaborating with a foreign power, US intelligence services to promote secession of HK from China, wakakaka

    2. Where is the evidence in the case of Hong Kong ?
      The "CIA Spy" alleged in many China fanboy videos turned out to be a 30-years resident in Hong Kong, part time journalist - who was legitimately turning up various protests to report 9n it.

    3. Wakakakaka…


      Old moneyed mfer, digging deep into the cesspool concentrates to find his f*cked argument!