The Court of Appeals in the Sardinian city of Sassari has summonsed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to return to the court on October 4th at 11:30am. This was set down in the resolution by the president of this court, under which the pro-independence politician was released from prison without any precautionary measures.
The resolution does not place any restrictions on Puigdemont's freedom of movement, nor on his departure from Italy. For now, those close to Puigdemont say that his desire is to continue with his planned agenda. The president was arrested yesterday by Italian police while travelling from Brussels to the strongly-Catalan influenced city of Alghero (called L'Alguer in the Catalan language).
The prosecutor admits immunity
The ruling by the judge of the Court of Appeals, Plinia Azzena, to which ElNacional.cat has had access, underlines that the prosecution has not requested interim measures because this would "seriously compromise", among other things, the right of Puigdemont as an MEP to participate freely in the meetings of the European Parliament. The prosecutor considers that the MEP's immunity is "still intact" when it comes to protecting his parliamentary activity and that interim measures would "seriously" compromise his right to travel freely to participate in sessions of the European chamber.
In this regard, he cites Article 9.2 of Protocol No. 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of MEPs which states that while Parliament is in session, members may not be detained in any EU Member State.
Coincides with the EU court
The text of the Court of Appeals' ruling includes the arguments put by Carles Puigdemont's defence and the reasoning of the EU General Court, in the sense that the opening of procedures for preliminary questions in the Puigdemont case brings with it the suspension of the European Arrest Warrant against him until the Luxembourg court decides on those questions.
In this regard, it also notes the arguments put forward by the EU General Court on the decision of Belgium justice against the extradition of fellow Catalan politician Lluís Puig and the preliminary questions presented by the Spanish investigating judge.
Blow to Spain's Supreme Court
All in all, the court's decision unequivocally rejects the Spanish Supreme Court's request based on the assertion that the European Arrest Warrant has been in force since it was issued in 2019. According to the investigating judge's argument, the preliminary questions he presented only affected the contention with Belgium due to the refusal of the courts of that country to extradite Catalan minister Lluís Puig, while in other EU countries the warrant remained in force.
The decision of the Court of Appeals therefore represents a new setback to judge Pablo Llarena's legal prosecution against Carles Puigdemont, in addition to those already received in the German court in Schleswig-Holstein, in the various Belgian courts and in Scotland.
Puigdemont was released this afternoon after spending the night in prison.