A COURT in Sardinia has suspended the Spanish extradition process for exiled former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont pending EU court decisions on his immunity as an MEP and on a Luxembourg court’s response to questions raised by Spain’s judiciary over the European arrest warrants system.

Puigdemont was briefly arrested when he arrived in Sardinia last month amid questions over his immunity as an MEP.

The prosecutor in Sassari today said he believed the extradition cannot go ahead until the Luxembourg court decides if the removal of his immunity was lawful – a stance accepted by the Sardinian court.

The decision came after a Spanish judge called for the arrest of exiled Catalan MEPs Clara Ponsati and Toni Comin, who accompanied their former boss Puigdemont to Sardinia for the hearing. Both were ministers in his government in 2017 when the Spanish government and judiciary cracked down on the independence movement before, during and after the October indyref.

Judge Pablo Llarena – the movement’s bête noire – has used every means at his disposal to bring them to Spanish justice, which has mean European arrest warrants in Scotland and across Europe for the trio, who are now MEPs, and other exiled independence figures.

Llarena had urged the Sardinian court to arrest Ponsati and Comin because he said both were facing “active” arrest warrants.

Italian police stopped Comín yesterday for a few minutes before waving him through, and Ponsati likewise had no trouble accompanying Puigdemont.

Speaking as he arrived at the court in Sassari, where Puigdemont appeared, Comin said: “The Italian state does not share the criteria of Judge Llarena.”

Ponsati said they had “more peace of mind” over travelling in recent months, and added: “We are not a game piece like President Puigdemont is.”