For his involvement in the banned Catalan independence referendum on October 1, 2017, Lluis Puig is being prosecuted for disobedience and misuse of public money. The man has been living in our country since 2017. Spain previously issued EAWs against the politician, but they were either withdrawn or declared unenforceable. In October and November, the Spanish court issued a new EAW after the Spanish Supreme Court convicted 12 Catalan separatists for their role in the independence referendum and the attempted secession from Catalonia.
The Brussels public prosecutor’s office was of the opinion that the EAW against Lluis Puig should be declared enforceable and that the man should therefore be handed over to Spain. After all, according to the public prosecutor, the acts were also punishable in Belgium. The defense of the Catalan politician disagreed.
The Catalan politician’s lawyers had also argued that the Spanish Tribunal Supremo did not have the power to issue a European arrest warrant. The investigating judge who issued the EAW is attached to the Tribunal Supremo and if Puig is surrendered to Spain, he will have to stand trial before that court. However, according to his lawyers, only a Catalan court had jurisdiction to possibly prosecute the man.
The Council Chamber has now followed the defense on this point and has ruled that the EAW cannot be executed.