Catalan separatist leader to attend hearing in Italy on October 4
MILAN (Reuters) – Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont said on Saturday he would be in Sardinia on October 4 to attend a hearing on his European arrest warrant after being held in custody in Italy for less than 24 hours .
A Sardinian court freed Puigdemont on Friday, a day after Italian police arrested him under a European arrest warrant issued by Spain, as he traveled to the Italian island to attend a festival of Catalan folklore in the town of Alghero.
Spain had asked Italy to extradite Puigdemont, who headed the Catalan government at the time of Spain’s independence vote in 2017, which the courts ruled as illegal.
â€œWe will continue to fight. We will never give up and I will continue to travel across Europe, â€Puigdemont said at a press conference in Alghero, where he was accompanied by the city’s mayor. “I will be back in Brussels on Monday”.
The separatist leader, who voluntarily went into exile in Belgium, praised Italy for handling his case quickly.
â€œI’m happy with the end result. Because our political and legal arguments have been proven, â€he said. â€œThe Italian justice took only a few hours to make this decision.
“I will be back on October 4 for the hearing and, if the Italian justice decides on my freedom, I will return home to Belgium,” he said.
Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Jessica Jones, written by Giulio Piovaccari. Editing by Jane Merriman