SPAIN’S Supreme Court has dropped a sedition charge against the exiled former Catalunya president Carles Puigdemont, but a new move will be made to extradite him from Belgium.

The sedition charge was brought after the region held an illegal independence referendum in 2017 and declared unilateral independence from Spain.

The court waived that charge against Puigdemont and four others- who also fled the country- as a result of December’s change to Spain’s Penal Code which in effect abolished sedition as a crime

That amendment was largely seen as the Pedro Sanchez-led minority government trying to get support from regional Catalan parties for crucial votes in Congress.

Puigdemont, who has beaten off a series of attempts to extradite him from Belgium as well as Italy and Germany, still has disobedience and embezzlement charges to answer to.

If convicted, he could get a maximum prison term of eight years.

The ex-Catalan leader lives in Belgium and is an MEP sitting in the European Parliament.

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena said on Thursday that a fresh extradition request would be sent to Belgium for him to face trial on the lesser charges assuming the European Court rules that Puigdemont does not have immunity and extradition can be asked for after previous rejections.

Sedition and embezzlement were among the main charges against nine of 12 pro-independence Catalan activists and politicians who were convicted for their roles in the cessation plot in 2017.

Pedro Sanchez issued partial pardons for nine of the separatists in 2021 who were released from jail after being locked up for three years as they served sentences between nine and 15 years.


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