13:39 GMT +318 February 2019
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    El retrato del expresidente catalán Carles Puigdemont con la petición de libertad para los presos políticos

    Puigdemont Pledges to Stick to Ideas of Catalonia's Independence Despite Arrest

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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Carles Puigdemont, the former head of the Catalan government who was arrested in Germany, said that he will not "give up" and will not abandon his ideas on the region's independence.

    On March 23, the Spanish Supreme Court activated a European arrest warrant for a number of Catalan politicians, including Puigdemont. Two days thereafter, Puigdemont was detained in Germany after he crossed the border with Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium, he is currently in custody in the German city of Neumunster. Puigdemont is scheduled to testify in the court of Schleswig-Holstein state on April 2.

    "I am not giving up, I am not losing courage over the illegitimate actions of those who lost the elections," Puigdemont posted on his Twitter page.

    This is Puigdemont's first statement since his arrest a week ago.

    READ MORE: Berlin Reportedly Has No Plans to Impede Puigdemont's Extradition to Spain

    The autonomous region of Catalonia held a referendum on independence on October 1, 2017 in which over 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans who participated in the vote, supported the region's secession from Spain. Madrid called the vote illegal and subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.


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