Ousted Catalonia leader seeking guarantees before returning to Spain

Ousted Catalonia leader seeking guarantees before returning to Spain

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has said he would return home “immediately” if a fair judicial process were guaranteed in Spain.

Spain’s chief prosecutor has announced he is seeking charges of rebellion, sedition, embezzlement and similar offences against leaders of the Catalan independence movement, including Sr Puigdemont.

Sr Puigdemont travelled to Brussels on Monday.

Asked by reporters on Tuesday how long he would stay, he responded: “As long we consider it (necessary).”

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“The situation is developing every day.”

“Here we have better guarantees for our rights here and we can meet our obligations from here.”

He added: “If they can guarantee to all of us, and to me in particular, a just, independent process, with the separation of powers that we have in the majority of European nations, if they guarantee that, we would return immediately.”

Sr Puigdemont said he came to Belgium to act “in freedom and safety” and not to seek asylum and he chose Brussels because it is the capital of Europe.”

He said he and his team will “continue our work despite the limits imposed on us”.

Speaking to reporters, Sr Puigdemont also said he would accept the challenge of regional elections called for December 21 “with all our strength” and that Catalan nationalists would vote.

Spain wants Catalonia “to abandon our political project, and they won’t achieve it”, he said.

Sr Puigdemont said violence must be avoided and dialogue was a priority.

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