A new chapter in the Spanish state's campaign to catch the exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will be written this Monday in the Court of Appeals of Sassari, on the island of Sardinia. The last attempt, on September 23rd, concluded with an identical result to all the previous ones since 2017. Unmitigated defeats of the Spanish judiciary in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the UK, France, Luxembourg and Italy. In one way or another, through the courts, through direct action by the police or even at the behest of the relevant authorities, Puigdemont has carried on circumventing and humiliating a desperate state that has lost all the international confrontations it has taken on. The Spanish Supreme Court has become, on many occasions, the laughing stock of European justice and of the different countries that have given a wide berth to a situation more akin to political persecution than independent justice.
Puigdemont and his legal team, led by Gonzalo Boye, have clearly approached the Sassari hearing this Monday on the attack. Puigdemont could have testified digitally at a distance, and he renounced that possibility by travelling to l'Alguer on Sunday, with enough time so that there were no incidents that could alter his presence in the Court of Appeals. The exiled Catalan ministers and MEPs, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsati, also flew to the island from Brussels, and this time there were no difficulties in crossing the border at the airport. The three "fugitives" - to use the terminology of Spanish judges Manuel Marchena and Pablo Llarena - have thus launched a public contention with a Supreme Court that insists that the arrest warrants are alive.
Boye wants a resounding victory that would ratify the international defence strategy of Puigdemont. From the Pyrenees northwards the MEPs can move freely since European justice allows it. Why is Spain different? Why does the General Court of the European Union not intervene? What is the European Parliament waiting for to restore their immunity in the face of the Kingdom of Spain's abuses and lies to the General Court? For this to happen on the first days of October is like a nod to that October 2017 of the independence referendum and the whole series of events, starting with that unprecedented and stupid television speech by Felipe VI.
To hear a convention meeting of Spain's Popular Party (PP) in Valencia chanting "Puigdemont, to prison" in a meeting, repeated later in a celebration by the party's young pups, is yet another example of the Spanish nationalist impotence in this matter and how important it has become for them to close this chapter. If this is what leader Pablo Casado calls his move towards the centre, what must they be thinking in private? And the same in relation to what the Moncloa palace, the minister Marlaska and other Socialist leaders say. Puigdemont is an endless nightmare for Spain. That's why Llarena has tried everything over this last week, riding roughshod over the state solicitors' office. And as for the Spanish ambassador to Rome, Alfonso Dastis - the PP government's foreign minister at the height of the crisis in 2017 - what efforts would he not have made?
Hence the importance that the Court of Appeals of Sassari gives an unequivocal ruling on the situation of president Puigdemont.