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The third section of the Criminal Chamber of Spain's National Audience court has ordered the case against the four people who were with Catalan president Carles Puigdemont when he was arrested in Germany last March be reopened.

The judges believe the four, Mossos Catalan police Xabier Goicoechea Fernández and Carlos de Pedro López, entrepreneur Josep Maria Matamala and professor Josep Lluís Alay, were aware that Spanish authorities were again seeking Puigdemont as they returned towards Belgium.

At the end of October, the judge in the case, Diego de Egea, provisionally shelved the investigation, under the idea that they were "outside of the exercise of their roles" at the time and "they were unaware that the European arrest warrant had been activated" against the president. In November, however, prosecutors presented an appeal against the closing of the case against the four.

The day after Puigdemont's arrest, de Egea opened an investigation into the four for the crime of concealment. By definition in Spanish law, the crime consists of helping someone responsible for a crime to elude capture.