Catalan leader to be freed in Sardinia pending extradition hearing
Exiled former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who was arrested in Sardinia at Spain’s request, will be freed while he challenges his extradition but must stay on the island, his lawyer said Friday.
Lawyer Agostinangelo Marras told reporters outside the court in Sassari that Puigdemont had appeared at a hearing via videolink from jail, where he spent the night following his arrest on the Italian island on Thursday.
Although the judge has not yet ruled on his bail conditions, Marras said prosecutors had not asked for him to be detained and “he could be released from today”.
Puigdemont, a member of the European Parliament, is wanted by Madrid on charges of sedition over his attempts to lead a Catalan breakaway from Spain in October 2017, which sparked the country’s worst political crisis in decades.
Puigdemont’s lawyers are challenging the validity of the arrest warrant, a process that Marras said could take “some weeks”.