Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the government of Catalonia, has urged Spain to allow Catalonia to form their regional government headed by Jordi Sanchez, who is currently in prison for rebellion charges in a press conference Saturday.
During his first press conference after being released from a German prison on bail, Puigdemont chastised the Spanish state for failing to recognized the results of the regional elections held after Catalonia's independence referendum, in October 2017.
“It is an embarrassment for Europe that we still have political prisoners,” Puigdemont said referencing the pro-independence Catalan political and social leaders who have been jailed after the referendum.
He also highlighted a resolution by the United Nations urging Spain to respect the political rights of Jordi Sanchez. “It is correct that a parliament can debate calmly the candidate for the presidency. It’s what the law establishes and what the citizens have tasked us to do. I announced I was withdrawing my candidacy and proposed Jordi Sanchez. The Spanish state blocked it. Today we must ask they rectify, now that there is a resolution by the U.N. human rights committee,” Puigdemont said.
Puigdemont was freed after a German court ruled out the charge of rebellion for which Spain issued an international arrest warrant, arguing they found no evidence of violence in Puigdemont actions.
The other charge against him, misuse of public funds will be reviewed by Germany after Spain presents their case. Germany’s Minister of Justice, Katarina Barley, said “it will not be easy” for Spain to prove that charge and if it fails, “then Puigdemont will be a free man in a free country, that is, Germany.”
Puigdemont confirmed he would stay in Berlin and expressed that after the legal process he intends to move back to Belgium.
Towards the end of his statement, he said: “I have always wanted international mediation… one of my last interventions was to ask Spanish authorities to accept the mediation of other European states.”