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Spain's public prosecution services is moving to stop Carles Puigdemont, Meritxell Serret and Anna Gabriel from travelling. Puigdemont and Serret are to travel to Switzerland on Sunday to attend a number of events.

Prosecutors have said they will ask the relevant authorities to study whether the three can be arrested and whether they can apply for their extradition and/or the withdrawal of their passports. They are currently writing the formal requests for this to be studied.

They have released a statement announcing that they will ask "that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs make a report relating to any formalities carried out by Carles Puigdemont and Meritxell Serret or the organisers of the events before Spain's diplomatic representatives in Switzerland", that "the Interior Ministry's Office of International Cooperation, in collaboration with Interpol, take the steps necessary with the competent Swiss authorities with the aims of determining the viability of the detention of the fugitives and claiming such for the purposes of extradition" and "requesting the adoption of complementary cautionary measures consisting of limiting the validity of the fugitive's passports from the special investigation 3/20907/2017 being processed against them at the Supreme Court".

Three failed attempts

Each time Puigdemont has moved, prosecutors have asked for his arrest and for the activation of a European Arrest Warrant which should lead to his extradition. But the different penal codes around Europe and the different evaluation of the crimes makes it difficult to move forwards with their arrest and delivery to Spain.

This lack of guarantees that Spanish justice would be able to achieve its aim, namely the extradition of the ministers and president who went into exile in Brussels and of former CUP deputy Anna Gabriel from Switzerland, has held judge Pablo Llarena back twice. First, withdrawing the international and European warrants against Puigdemont, Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret, Lluís Puig and Clara Ponsatí after the legal process had started in Belgium. Then later, when Puigdemont went to Copenhagen, prosecutors asked for the warrant to be reactivated, but Llarena eventually decided against doing so.

As for when it was learnt that Anna Gabriel was in Switzerland, prosecutors asked again, and Llarena replied that he will only issue the arrest warrants once he's finished the final report before going to trial. That report is where they will confirm the final charges.

In the case of Clara Ponsatí, who announced her return to Scotland and her job at the University of St Andrews, prosecutors decided against asking for anything.

Today's requests are only directed at Puigdemont, Serret and Gabriel although, once the report is finished and presented to the prosecutors, they will make a final decision on whether or not to include the other ministers in exile.