SPAIN-CATALONIA – TELAM Agency
The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, today expressed his wish that the Member of the European Parliament Carles Puigdemont be able to return to Spain shortly “as a free citizen”.
The Catalan leader made the comment this morning during a press conference he gave at the Government House of the province of Buenos Aires, in the city of La Plata, together with Governor Axel Kicillof.
“We are working to resolve the political conflict through dialogue and negotiation with the central government of Spain,” Aragonès explained when asked by the Télam agency.
He maintained that “there is a clear objective, which is that all forms of political repression come to an end and this includes not only people who are affected by judicial proceedings but also those who reside abroad, such as President Puigdemont, to whom I send all my solidarity and support at this important moment”.
Within this framework, he maintained: “I express all my solidarity and we hope that he can soon return to Catalonia as a free citizen, as we want for all citizens.”
Last January, the Spanish justice system withdrew the crime of sedition against former Catalan president Puigdemont for his role in the 2017 secession attempt.
After this decision, the penalties that the now MEP, who governed Catalonia when the Generalitat (the Catalan Executive branch) unilaterally declared independence in 2017 and currently resides in Belgium, would face, will be much lower if he is finally court in Spain.
The crime of sedition, the main charge for which the Spanish justice system was demanding the extradition of Puigdemont, was abolished with the reform of the Penal Code adopted at the end of December by Parliament, and replaced by that of “public disorder”, which carries penalties softer.