Former Catalan secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany by police acting on an international arrest warrant issued by Spain.
Mr Puigdemont had entered Germany from Denmark after leaving Finland on Friday when it appeared police would arrest him there and launch an extradition process requested by Spain.
The development was first revealed by his lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, who did not say exactly where Mr Puigdemont was in custody in Germany.
He said only that Mr Puigdemont, the former Catalan regional president, had been en route to Belgium where he has been living in self-imposed exile since late last year.
German police confirmed they arrested Mr Puigdemont in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.
In a statement, police said Mr Puigdemont was detained near a section of the A7 highway which cuts through the state from the city of Flensburg near the Danish border. Police did not say exactly where Mr Puigdemont was being held.
Mr Puigdemont faces up to 25 years in prison in Spain on charges of rebellion and sedition for organising an illegal referendum for Catalonia that led to a unilateral declaration of independence in October.
“The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgian justice,” Mr Puigdemont’s spokesman Joan Maria Pique said.
On Friday Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena ruled that 25 Catalan separatist politicians would face charges of rebellion, embezzlement and disobeying the state for their roles in organising the vote on secession.
More to come.