Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont urges dialogue with Spain

08 April, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • The supreme and the prosecution are trying to keep the crime of rebellion alive

German authorities are still considering whether to extradite Puigdemont to Spain after he was arrested on March 25 on an arrest warrant issued by Madrid while traveling through Germany.

A court official in Germany says that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's release from prison is conditioned on his remaining in Germany while extradition proceedings continue and reporting to police once a week.

Puigdemont, granted bail after German judges ruled he could not be extradited on charges of "rebellion" brought by Spain, thanked prison staff as he emerged to cheers and people waving Catalan flags.

She stated that if Spain couldn't prove the allegations of misuse of public funds, "afterward Puigdemont would be a free man in a absolutely free country - notably in Germany".

The court in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday set his bail at 75,000 euros (£65,000; $90,000). "The plan was to return to Belgium but the circumstances have changed", he said.

German prosecutors have argued that the charge of rebellion is similar to Germany's offence of treason. It displayed images of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, two other Catalan independence leaders who were jailed in Spain previous year amid efforts to create a Catalonian nation.

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Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is urging Spanish authorities to allow jailed separatist activist Jordi Sanchez to be elected as new regional president of the wealthy northeastern region.

A previous attempt to appoint Sanchez as regional president failed last month after Spain's Supreme Court turned down a request for him to be released from jail to be sworn in.

The German court decided the charge of rebellion did not warrant extradition, because the accusation isn't punishable under German law. "We always said we were ready", Puigdemont said.

He has been living in Belgium since fleeing Spain to escape arrest, and has been held at a prison in Neumuenster.

The former chief of Catalonia's regional police and other regional security officials have been charged with sedition over their role in events leading past year to a banned independence referendum.

Trapero was hailed in Catalonia as a local hero for the handling of deadly extremist attacks in and near Barcelona last summer.


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