From an Instagram photo to the arrest of a “relative” in Germany

Puigdemont press conference in Brussels on October 31, 2017. / EFE

After escaping to Brussels on October 29, 2017, two days after the 155th, Puigdemont spent four years as a fugitive from Spanish justice.

Alvaro Soto

Monday, October 30, 2017. It has been two days since his dismissal as the Catalan general’s presidency, after the central government implemented Article 155 of the constitution, and Carles Puigdemont posted a photo of his office on Instagram with a simple message: “Bon Día”. He wants to show normalcy another day in the office, but the photo is part of a hoax: at that very moment, the man who had declared Catalonia’s independence for 8 seconds was already in Brussels. He escaped from Spanish justice to a country too permissive with extradition laws, leaving behind part of his government, headed by Oriol Jonqueras, who would face judges and who would end up in prison.

In an escape movie, Puigdemont left his home in Girona on Sunday 29th hiding in the back seats of a car so that he would not be discovered by the Mossos de Escuadra family members who were guarding the house. Accompanied by his wife, before reaching the French border, he changes vehicles, which Musso now drives with complete confidence in him. Already in French territory, he went to Marseille, where he boarded a plane that would take him to Brussels. On Tuesday, October 31, he called a huge press conference in the Belgian capital in which he confirmed that he would not return to Spain until “there are guarantees”. On November 3, Judge Lamela issued a search and capture warrant in Euros against Puigdemont and the rest of the members of the government who had fled with him.

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Carles Puigdemont, arrested in Sardinia

In about these four years, Puigdemont moved from Brussels only to countries where extradition to Spain was complicated. He traveled to Copenhagen, Helsinki, Geneva and Germany. In the German city of Schöbe, he was intercepted by that country’s police on March 25, but a judge of the Schweslegg-Holstein Regional Court halted the extradition because he considered the offense of rebellion to be “inadmissible”. This “horror” did not change the plans of Puigdemont, who held a conference in Berlin and visited the United Kingdom and Ireland, among other trips, such as the one he made to Perpignan (France) in February 2020, in a monumental act of Catalan independence. It has always been the intention of the expresident to internationalize his status and that of Catalan secession, although it implies the possibility that he could end up with arrest.

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