Friday

20th Apr 2018

No chance of expanding EU warrant crime list

  • Jourva says the European Arrest Warrant won't be changed (Photo: European Union)

The European Commission will not support any effort by the Spanish government to expand the list of crimes under the European arrest warrant.

Speaking to reporters on Friday (8 December), EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said while improvements were needed on the warrant, there was no need to change the list of criminal offences.

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"We are not planning to open the framework decision to introduce the changes, which are requested by the Spanish government," she said.

Madrid had in early November issued a European warrant to retrieve self-exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from Belgium over charges of sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds in Spain.

The warrant was issued following Catalonia's declaration of independence, but Belgium does not have an equivalent offence for rebellion, complicating the legality behind the warrant.

His extradition was later deferred by a Belgian court.

Spain's supreme court has since withdrawn the warrant for his arrest, along with four other former cabinet members who also fled to Brussels.

But all five may still be charged should they return to Spain, where they could face decades in jail.

There are 32 categories of offences under the European warrant.

Thousands march for Catalonia in Brussels

Around 45,000 people marched in support of Catalonia in Brussels to get the EU involved in mediating the conflict with Madrid. 'Europe must realise that it can still play a role in the Catalan crisis,' said self-exiled Catalan leader Puigdemont.

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