Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont faces a hearing on the Italian island of Sardinia to decide whether to extradite him back to Spain where he is accused of sedition
A group of about 20 supporters rallied outside the courthouse as Puigdemont arrived for the hearing accompanied by his lawyer, Gonzalo Boye. Some members of the crowd shouted “freedom!”
Puigdemont was arrested Sept. 23 in Sardinia, where he had arrived to attend a Catalan cultural festival at the invitation of a Sardinian separatist movement. He was freed by a judge a day later pending Monday’s extradition hearing.
Puigdemont, formerly president of Spain’s Catalonia region, lives in Belgium and now holds a seat in the European Parliament.
The European Parliament voted in March to lift the immunity of Puigdemont and two of his associates. In July, the three EU lawmakers failed to have their immunity restored after the European Union’s general court said that they did not demonstrate they were at risk of being arrested.