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Spain in extradition bid as exiled Catalan leader travels to Denmark

Carles Puigdemont landed at Copenhagen airport on Monday on a flight from Belgium.

The fugitive former leader of Catalonia has arrived in Denmark and prosecutors in Spain immediately started proceedings to have him arrested and extradited.

Carles Puigdemont landed at Copenhagen airport on Monday morning on a flight from Belgium, where he has been since fleeing Spain.

He was immediately surrounded by media but made no comment before he got into a car that drove him away to an undisclosed location.

He is expected to take part in a debate at the University of Copenhagen on Monday.

Carles Puigdemont, (centre) arrives in Denmark (Tariq Mikkel Khan/Ritzau Scanpix via AP/PA)

The following day he has been invited to the Danish Parliament by a Faeroese lawmaker, although leading members of the government and opposition have declined to meet him.

In Spain, the state prosecutor’s office said it has asked the Supreme Court to approve a European arrest warrant for Mr Puigdemont’s arrest. It is unclear if Judge Pablo Llarena will grant it.

In December, Mr Llarena withdrew a similar order amid concerns that Belgium would send Mr Puigdemont back to Spain but restrict the crimes with which he could be charged.

Copenhagen police spokesman Riad Tolba told The Associated Press that no arrest warrant has arrived yet, so Mr Puigdemont has not been arrested.

Mr Puigdemont is being investigated by Spain over a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia’s parliament on Oct. 27.

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