Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has left Finland before the country's police could arrest him in line with an arrest warrant issued by Spain, Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas said Saturday.
"I confirm that President Puigdemont is no longer in Finland," Cuevillas said Saturday, without specifying the former leader's location.
Confirmo que el President Puigdemont ja no és a Finlàndia.— J. Alonso-Cuevillas (@JaumeAlonsoCuev) 24 марта 2018 г.
Seguirà, com sempre, a disposició de la justicía belga, on te fixada la seva residència.
Finnish lawmaker Mikko Karna, who was one of those, who invited the former Catalan leader to visit Finland, also confirmed the statement, saying that Carles Puigdemont departed from Finland yesterday evening by unknown means to Belgium."
Just received info from president @KRLS of #Catalonia that he is no longer in #Finland. He departed to Belgium last evening. My press release attached. pic.twitter.com/7WdsjZgswS— Mikko Kärnä (@KarnaMikko) 24 марта 2018 г.
Puigdemont had been on a visit to Finland since Thursday at the invitation of several Finnish lawmakers.
The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation said the day before that it had received a request from Spain to extradite the former Catalan head. The statement was made a day after Spanish Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena issued the European arrest warrant for Puigdemont and a number of other politicians from the region.
READ MORE: Finnish Police Receive Request for Extradition of Ex-Catalan Head Puigdemont
At the same time, Puigdemont said earlier in the week that he was ready for talks with the central government, and believed that his return would be evidence of the normalization of politics and democracy in Spain.
Spanish authorities have opened a criminal case against 30 Catalan politicians and officials, arresting four of them, while Puigdemont, as well as several advisers of the dissolved Catalan government, fled Spain before the trial.