The leader of Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017 who fled Spain to avoid arrest says that the central government will be seeking “vengeance” instead of justice when 12 of his separatist allies stand trial next week.

Carles Puigdemont has told The Associated Press at his house in Belgium, where he established residence after fleeing Spain, “we are all supporting them, helping them because they are suffering a terribly unjust and humiliating situation.”

He said in the interview Sunday that “the trial is not an act of justice. It will not be an act of justice but rather one of vengeance.”

Spanish Supreme Court President Carlos Lesmes has guaranteed that “this is a trial following the highest standards set by the European Union.”

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In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont's resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont’s resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont's resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont’s resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont's resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont’s resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont's resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont’s resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont's resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, former regional Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Puigdemont’s resident in Waterloo, near Brussels, after he fled from Spain to avoid arrest following Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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