The Soir newspaper reports that exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont could have been tracked by intelligence services as a tracking wire was found in his car to keep an eye on his movement.
"As it became known from reliable sources, a tracking device was installed in Puigdemont's car which was transporting him from Finland to Belgium. It allowed tracking the travel of the ex-Catalan head, while the European arrest warrant for him was in action," according to the media.
Previously, Focus magazine, which, according to Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange, has close ties to German intelligence, reported that Spanish intelligence had been keeping an eye on Puigdemont on his way from Finland to Germany.
Puigdemont, charged with organizing an insurrection and embezzling state funds, was detained in Germany on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge last Sunday. Puigdemont is currently in custody in the German city of Neumunster. He is scheduled to testify in court in the state of Schleswig-Holstein on April 2, but the decision on his extradition is expected to be taken no earlier than next week
Meanwhile, German lawyer Wolfgang Schomburg, who represents the former Catalan leader's interests, has called on the German government to prevent his client's extradition to Spain, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Earlier in the day, a poll conducted by the Institute of Sociology Civey revealed that the majority of Germans were opposed to Puigdemont's extradition to Spain. Puigdemont's arrest this weekend sparked protests across Catalonia, with about 50,000 people taking to the streets to show their support for their former president.
Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest following the October independence referendum in Catalonia, which the central authorities did not recognize. After the regional parliament unilaterally announced independence based on the results of the vote, Madrid imposed direct rule over the autonomous region, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. In November, a Spanish court issued a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont and several other former members of the Catalan government. The following month, however, Spain dropped the warrant, saying that the former Catalan president appeared willing to return.