Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Germany: Ex-Catalan leader gets conditional release

Germany: Ex-Catalan leader gets conditional release Germany: Ex-Catalan leader gets conditional release
Andrew Cummings | 06 April, 2018, 02:03

A German court on Thursday ruled to allow Catalonian separatist leader Carles Puigdemont free on bail, paving the way for his extradition to Spain to stand trial for his role in last autumn's independence drive.

The former Catalan separatist leader was detained in Germany last month on an global arrest warrant issued by Spain when he was driving back from Finland through Denmark on his way to Belgium.

"I have always said that I had full confidence in German justice", Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas said on Twitter.

The court has been considering what to do about a Spanish extradition request for Mr Puigdemont for more than a week. Proceedings to decide whether to grant extradition on corruption charges may continue, however. Authorities will separately rule whether he can be extradited on the lesser charge.

The court, in Berlin, said the rebellion charge Puigdemont faced in Spain was not a criminal offence in Germany, while the violence component that would justify a high treason charge was also missing.

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The state court in Schleswig said Thursday it is setting conditions including a 75,000-euro ($92,000) payment for the 55-year-old ex-president of Spain's Catalonia region to leave prison.

Spain has accused the Catalan separatist of rebellion and corruption after he organised an unsanctioned independence referendum. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

The former Catalan leader's German defense team welcomed the court's decision to dismiss the Spanish government's "outrageous" rebellion charge, adding that the case had a "trend-setting significance for the European understanding of democracy".

Sanchez said in a letter from a Madrid jail published Thursday that he was ready to try again to be elected.

Former Catalan police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero was indicted today by Judge Carmen Lamela of the Spanish national court for his involvement in the independence movement.

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