While at the end of November a reform of the penal code repealed this crime in the country, the Spanish Supreme Court officially dropped the charges of sedition against the separatist Carles Puigdemont, former president of Catalonia, Thursday, January 12.
Exiled to Belgium to avoid prosecution in Spain, Puigdemont still faces charges of disobedience and embezzlement, which carry eight-year prison terms. Sedition was punishable by a maximum prison term of fifteen years.
Previous attempts by Spain to extradite the former president of Catalonia during his stays in Germany, Belgium and Italy have failed. Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena said on Thursday he would submit a new extradition request to Belgian authorities for Carles Puigdemont to be tried on less serious charges, depending on European court rulings on his case. immunity.
Mitigating the conflict between Madrid and Catalonia
Spain amended its penal code late last year to remove the landmark sedition law, under which some separatist politicians were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison, after the constitutional crisis caused in 2017 by the referendum on the independence of Catalonia and the unilateral proclamation of the Catalan Republic.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who later pardoned those convicted following the events, said the move should further ease the political conflict between Madrid and Catalonia. Opposition parties said the move was intended to ensure Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist-led coalition continued support from pro-independence parties in contentious parliamentary votes.
Carles Puigdemont, who has been in exile in Belgium since the end of 2017, has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019.