Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont has requested the restoration of his immunity as a member of the European Parliament ahead of a highly anticipated hearing concerning an extradition request from Spain.
An application for provisional measures has been filed with the EU court in Luxembourg, Puigdemont's Spanish lawyer Gonzalo Boye announced on Twitter.
In March, the European Parliament voted to strip Puigdemont, alongside other Catalan separatists, of the legal immunity they enjoy as members of that chamber, in a move that opened up the possibility that they could be extradited to Spain.
Puigdemont, the former leader of Catalonia’s regional government, and one of his colleagues, fled to Belgium after authorities cracked down on supporters of an outlawed October 2017 referendum on Catalan independence.
Spanish authorities sought to extradite them on charges of rebellion and sedition. Belgian officials put the extradition request on hold because of the EU immunity Puigdemont and Comin enjoyed.
Court of appeal
Puigdemont is expected in Sardinia for a hearing at the Court of Appeal on Monday, after he was briefly detained at the island’s Alghero airport on September 23, based on an arrest warrant issued by Spain's top court.
After his release, the politician returned to Brussels but promised he would attend the October 4 hearing, when the question of whether he is to be extradited will be clarified.