Spanish prosecutor seeks to void Puigdemont’s passport

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Lawyers want to stop exiled former Catalan president from justifying his ‘crimes’ abroad.

 

A Spanish prosecutor on Tuesday asked a judge to invalidate Carles Puigdemont’s passport to stop the exiled former Catalan president from justifying his “crimes” to international audiences.

Puigdemont and four members of his former Cabinet fled to Brussels last October to avoid charges of rebellion and sedition in Spain for their independence push.

The prosecutors argued Tuesday that the judge should invalidate the passports of Puigdemont and the others to prevent them from travelling between countries to try to justify their “crimes,” Efe news agency reported. In January, for example, Puigdemont travelled to Denmark to discuss the situation in Catalonia.

After the Catalan regional parliament voted to declare independence last October, Madrid imposed direct rule over the region and called for a snap election. Independence parties again won a majority in December’s vote, but have since struggled to find a leader due to Madrid’s objections.

Puigdemont was separatists’ first choice, but the country’s Constitutional Court in January ruled he couldn’t be elected while out of the country. Then another court ruled that the second choice, Jordi Sànchez, had to remain in prison pending a trial over his role in the independence campaign, and thus he could not attend a parliament session to appoint him president.