Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

Ex-Catalan leader must stay in Germany for now

Ex-Catalan leader must stay in Germany for now

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has made a renewed call for Spanish authorities to open negotiations over the region's secession bid.

The court said Thursday that Puigdemont can't be extradited on the main charge Spain is leveling against him, that of rebellion, because the comparable German charge of treason specifies "violence". He can still be extradited on misuse of funds charges.

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.

Misuse of public funds carries a sentence of around eight years at Spain, while a rebellion sentence can hit 30 years.

Responding to the ruling, a Spanish official said Mariano Rajoy's government respects judicial decisions "always, when it likes them and when it doesn't".

Separatists held onto their parliamentary majority in December elections but courts have blocked their attempts to only elect as leader lawmakers who are either fugitives from the country or now behind bars.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont can be released on bail, a German court has ruled.

Rajoy's position was not shared by the leading politician of his conservative Popular Party in Catalonia.

The 55-year-old separatist leader was caught on the entry of Germany from Denmark on March 25 en route to his residence in Belgium.

Germany's justice minister has applauded a court's decision to free Puigdemont on bail, two weeks after his arrest in Germany.

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

"We feel that comments on judges' decisions at this point are not appropriate", he told reporters in the southern Spanish city of Seville. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

Ms. Barley claimed that it was now up to Spain to prove that their additional prices against Mr. Puigdemont, which she said "won't even be more easy".

A demonstration was planned in the northern German town of Neumünster, where Puigdemont had been held since his detention, against his still-possible extradition.

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