Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont calls for amnesty, not pardons from Spain gov’t

Brussels, Jun 3 (EFE).- The Spanish government should grant amnesty rather than pardons to Catalan politicians jailed for their involvement in an illegal independence referendum, the self-exiled former regional president Carles Puigdemont said Thursday.

The government of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez is studying the possibility of issuing pardons to the 12 Catalan politicians and activists who were jailed for their involvement in the 2017 ballot and the subsequent unconstitutional declaration of independence.

The move is highly controversial in Spain and is fiercely opposed by opposition parties.

Puigdemont on Thursday said the pardons would not turn the chapter on the political animosity between Catalan separatist parties, which hold a majority in the regional chamber, and the national government, which is based in Madrid.

“This is a specific solution, but does not form part of a political solution,” he told a press conference at the European Parliament in Brussels.

“An amnesty would form part of the recipe for a political solution. It alone would not fix it, but it would be a part of the solution,” he added.

A ruling from the European Court of Justice on Wednesday provisionally restored European parliamentary immunity to Puigdemont and two former members of his Catalan cabinet, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín, all of whom are in self-imposed exile but sit as MEPs.

The trio face a range of charges back in Spain, from sedition and rebellion to misuse of public funds.

Puigdemont called on the European Parliament not to appeal the ruling on immunity. EFE


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