Friday, 17 August, 2018

German Court Says Spain Separatist Leader Can't Be Extradited for Rebellion

German Court Says Spain Separatist Leader Can't Be Extradited for Rebellion German Court Says Spain Separatist Leader Can't Be Extradited for Rebellion
Steven Clarke | 06 April, 2018, 07:03

The court said that because Mr Puigdemont cannot be extradited for rebellion he posed less of a flight risk and could be released on bail.

The ruling means Mr Puigdemont, who fled Spain five months ago for Belgium after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed his regional administration, can not be tried for rebellion in Spain once extradited on the lesser charge, a German court spokeswoman said.

Spanish authorities accuse Mr Puigdemont of rebellion and misuse of public funds in organising an unauthorised referendum previous year on Catalonia's independence from Spain.

Madrid also accuses Puigdemont of misuse of public funds.

The court said that because Puigdemont can't extradited for rebellion means he posed less of a flight risk and could be released on bail. His lawyers have said they will appeal.

The German judges will consider Puigdemont's extradition on the less serious charge of misusing public funds.

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

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German prosecutors argued earlier this week that the main charge of rebellion is equivalent to Germany's criminal offense of treason.

Schleswig state court spokeswoman Frauke Holmer said Thursday that once Puigdemont makes the 75,000-euro ($92,000) bail judges set for him Thursday, he won't be allowed to leave Germany without prosecutors' approval, must inform prosecutors of every change of residence and report to police once a week.

Extradition proceedings on the corruption charges will continue.

A picture of Carles Puigdemont is fixed in front of the entrance of a prison in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, where Puigdemont, the fugitive ex-leader of Catalonia and ardent separatist, is believed to be held after he was arrested.

Lamela said Trapero and the three others carried out a "premeditated strategy that was perfectly coordinated" to help achieve secession during the lead-up to a banned independence referendum in Catalonia on October 1 and the day of the vote itself.

The Spanish government was not immediately able to comment.

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