Spain to seek Catalan politician's arrest on Denmark visit

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Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont has travelled to Denmark, triggering a failed attempt by Spain's prosecutor to have him arrested.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge has accused Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont of trying to provoke his own arrest by travelling overseas.

Puigdemont is being investigated by Spain over a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia's parliament on October 27.

The prosecutor's office says it has asked the Supreme Court to approve a European warrant for his arrest.

The Spanish government has charged roughly a dozen former Catalan ministers with various crimes, including sedition and rebellion, in relation to their actions leading up to the declaration of independence.

The pro-independence politician is speaking at a conference on secession in Europe, with the situation of Catalonia and Spain a major theme.

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'We will not surrender to authoritarianism, Puigdemont said at the event, which marked his first trip away from Belgium in three months.

He also talked about an April 25 constitutional referendum in the Faeroe Islands, a Danish territory.

Puigdemont faces immediate arrest if he returns to Spain and, if he remains overseas, central authorities in Madrid said they will block any attempt he might make to be Catalonia's president.

Puigdemont refused to comment on the judge's decision not to seek his arrest. However, Pablo Casado, spokesman for the governing Popular Party (PP), said that Mr Rajoy "doesn't have to meet with the speakers of regional parliaments and particularly so if they are proposing something illegal". Whether or not Puigdemont can lead Catalonia in absentia has been debated hotly.

The Spanish government has threatened to arrest him the moment he sets foot back in Spain.

Roger Torrent, the speaker of the newly elected parliament, said on Monday that Puigdemont has been nominated as a candidate to govern the region again.

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