Catalan former leader Puigdemont remains in Berlin on bail

Marlene Weaver
April 8, 2018

Spain would now have to prove that Puigdemont was guilty of misusing public funds, she said, adding "That won't be easy".

Puigdemont was arrested on March 25 in northern Germany, after Spanish authorities reactivated a European arrest warrant on charges of sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds.

The High Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein on April 5, released the ex-president, who was arrested last month on a Spanish-issued warrant as he entered Germany, on a 75,000-euro ($91,700) bail.

Spain is seeking Puigdemont's extradition for rebellion and misuse of public funds in organizing an unauthorized referendum past year on Catalonia's independence from Spain.

He and 12 other separatist leaders were officially charged with rebellion. It displayed images of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, two other Catalan independence leaders who were jailed in Spain past year amid efforts to create a Catalonian nation.

Puigdemont, who was released on bail from a German prison Friday, says he hopes a German court's decision to not extradite him to Spain on charges of rebellion shows that "dialogue is needed" to defuse the political conflict in his home country.

But the court disagreed, saying that Mr Puigdemont can not be extradited for rebellion.

Activists put up banners with the photos of jailed leaders of Catalan pro-independence movements before Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont addresses a news conference in Berlin. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

Puigdemont had proposed Sanchez — his No. 2 in the Together for Catalonia party — last month, but Spain's Supreme Court refused to free him to attend a parliamentary session. "We always said we were ready", Puigdemont said.

He was trying to drive from Finland to Belgium, where he had been living since fleeing to escape arrest in Spain.

The separatists' maneuvers come after a string of setbacks for their ambitions since October, with Spanish courts blocking moves toward independence and bringing charges against the movement's leaders.

Two more members of the regional police and an official with the regional interior department were also indicted.

Other reports by Insurance News

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