Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

German prosecutor seeks Carles Puigdemont extradition

German prosecutor seeks Carles Puigdemont extradition

The request by prosecutors for his extradition comes after demonstrations by independence supporters last weekend in Berlin and Catalonia, calling for Puigdemont's release.

It is not immediately clear when the court will rule on his possible extradition.

Puigdemont has been held in a detention center in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week after he was arrested in Germany on March 25.

Spain is seeking the former president's extradition under charges of misuse of public funds in relation to Catalonia's independence declaration, as well as "rebellion" in organising a referendum, which Madrid has deemed illegal.

Puigdemont's arrest has sent tensions soaring at home, triggering a wave of protests in the wealthy northeastern Spanish region. Puigdemont will remain in custody until a ruling is returned.

They noted that during a meeting with police on September 28, Mr Puigdemont was warned that violence might escalate on the day of the October 1 referendum, but his government went through with it anyway.

Central to the execution of EAWs is whether the charges they contain have an equivalent under local law, and Schleswig prosecutors said the charge of rebellion had a German equivalent - high treason.

"Word-for-word conformance between the German and Spanish criminal codes is thus not legally required", it said.

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However, other German parties have said the extradition is a matter for German courts. Under EU extradition procedures the German judge will not consider the question of Mr Puigdemont's guilt, which is for a Spanish court to decide.

The Schleswig court could take several days to decide on the prosecutors' request. It will then rule on the extradition bid itself.

Prosecutors argued that Puigdemont, 55, should be detained as there was a danger he would try to escape.

"Logically, it now falls to the German justice system to make the final decision and of course we will respect this", he told reporters in Algiers.

Puigdemont will face charges of rebellion over the's ill-fated independence campaign.

The Spanish government is now trying 25 Catalan nationalist leaders who were involved in the October 2017 secessionist vote.

They said the Spanish charge of misuse of public money - for an unconstitutional referendum - could also be punished in Germany.

They all face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of rebellion.

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