Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Former Catalan leader Puigdemont can be extradited, German court rules

The more serious charge of rebellion is not recognised under German law which means that Spain would not be able to try Mr Puigdemont on this charge German court authorises extradition of Carles Puigdemont | Spain News
Jeannette Daniel | 13 July, 2018, 01:20

But, a further charge of inciting rebellion, dating back to the Catalan uprising in 2017, did not warrant the former leader to be extradited from Germany to Spain, the court ruled.

A spokeswoman for the court said: "The court decided this morning that an extradition due to the accusation of misuse of public funds is permissible".

A source in Puigdemont's legal team said the former Catalan leader would appeal a decision to extradite him from Germany on any charge.

He therefore can not be extradited on a "rebellion" charge and, if he is returned to Spain, Spanish authorities can not prosecute Puigdemont based on that accusation.

The charges are in connection with the Catalan regional government's unauthorized referendum past year on independence from Spain and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-controlled regional parliament.

Since his arrest in Germany, Spain has been trying to see Puigdemont extradited.

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DPA news agency reported a spokesperson said the extradition order for Puigdemont will soon be approved by Schleswig-Holstein's state attorney general.

In its Thursday ruling, the Schleswig-Holstein court said that the acts for which Puigdemont stands accused do not amount to high treason nor a breach of public peace according to German law. Every minute that our colleagues spend in jail is a minute of shame and injustice. "We will fight until the end, and we will win!"

He was arrested in germany on March 28, with the spanish government accusing him of of rebelling and misappropriating public funds.

Catalonia's current separatist President Quim Torra, who is close to Puigdemont, tweeted that "once more the machinations and lies of a judicial case that never should have started have come to light". "It will be in Europe where we win". Before he closed this part of the proceedings, he ordered Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras, and the four other politicians who are being held in pre-trial custody (Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Jordi Sànchez) to be suspended from their roles as deputies in the Catalan parliament.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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