Spain's Supreme Court has withdrawn an international arrest warrant for Catalonia's former leader, but he may still be detained if he attempts to return from self-imposed exile. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Some of the heat is off Catalonia's former leader. Spain's Supreme Court says it's withdrawn an international arrest warrant for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, currently in self-imposed exile. He fled to Belgium with four of his ministers after the independence referendum he led resulted in Madrid taking direct rule over the region. The court mentioned Puigdemont's desire to take part in new elections in Catalonia in their decision to drop the extradition bid. But it's not clear whether he'll return soon. Puigdemont is still facing charges including rebellion and misuse of public finds, and he'd likely be detained there for investigations that could take months. Several secessionist leaders who stayed in the region are still behind bars, although a number have been released. The new elections are scheduled to take place on the 21st and the most recent polls suggest pro-Independence parties will lose their majority in the local parliament. Madrid hopes that will help calm the nation's worst political crisis in four decades.