ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Former Catalan regional parliament president Carles Puigdemont was detained in Germany on Sunday following an arrest warrant issued by the Spanish government.
Puigdemont’s arrest comes after a series of detentions for Catalan leaders who were involved in the semi-autonomous region’s historic referendum last year as well as the symbolic declaration of independence shortly after the vote.
The former Catalan leader had entered Germany from Denmark after visiting Finland on Friday where, according to Reuters, German police said they had arrested him in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain.
Spanish media added that Puigdemont was being held at a police station where he will remain until an extradition process was agreed between Berlin and Madrid.
It was not immediately clear when the process would take place as the Catalan leader has previously stated he would fight any attempt to extradite him from Belgium where he had been in self-exile for four months.
Puigdemont’s spokesperson, Joan Maria Pique, told Reuters the former Catalan leader was on his way back to Belgium before he was arrested in Germany.
“The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgium justice,” Pique said.
On Friday, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled that a total of 25 Catalan leaders would be tried “for rebellion, embezzlement or disobedience.”
The court’s decision prompted thousands of protestors to take to the streets of Catalonia and demonstrate in solidarity with the detained leaders.