Spain launches terrorism case against former Catalonia president Puigdemont

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks at a press conference in Alghero, Sardinia, on Oct. 4, 2021
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks at a press conference in Alghero, Sardinia, on Oct. 4, 2021 Copyright Gloria Calvi/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Gloria Calvi/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Tamsin Paternoster
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Spain's top court has opened a terrorism investigation into Puigdemont over protests linked to the region's failed independence referendum in 2017.

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Former president of Catalonia and separatist chief Carles Puigdemont and MP Ruben Wagensberg are being investigated by the Spanish Supreme Court for alleged 'terrorism crimes connected to the events scrutinized in the 'Democratic Tsunami' case,' according to a statement released by the court. 

Democratic Tsunami is a covert Catalan group that organised several protests in 2019, primarily opposing the jailing of several separatist leaders involved in the 2017 referendum.

The protests were highly disruptive and led to clashes with police as well as the blocking of Barcelona's El Prat airport, and the cancellation of over 100 flights. 

The decision to open the probe against Puigdemont goes against an earlier ruling by the Supreme Court's own prosecutors who previously rejected requests to indict Puigdemont on terrorism charges, arguing there was no link between the politician and the group. 

Several external European partners have questioned the legitimacy of the decision, including the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the Swiss judiciary. 

Spanish lawmakers have meanwhile been trying to complete an amnesty bill that would grant all those who have been prosecuted for their involvement in the pro-Catalan independence movement since 2012 immunity.

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