Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

German court bails Carles Puigdemont as extradition for corruption considered

German court bails Carles Puigdemont as extradition for corruption considered

Carles Puigdemont, the former leader of Catalonia, under investigation over the Catalan push for independence from Spain, can be extradited on charges of corruption, but not rebellion, the German court hearing his case has ruled, RT reports.

This afternoon, the German court said his extradition was possible on the basis of the corruption charges - but not on the more serious charge of rebellion.

Puigdemont was caught on the entry of Germany from Denmark on March 25 en route to his residence in Belgium.

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.

That made his actions not punishable under German law, the judges said, rejecting prosecutors' argument that the Spanish "rebellion" charge was similar enough to Germany's "high treason" statute to justify an extradition.

It wasn't immediately clear when Puigdemont will be released.

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Nevertheless, Puigdemont's defence team were "very happy for our client" that the "outrageous" charge of rebellion had been set aside, Dunckel said. Two other members of the regional police and an official with the regional interior department were also indicted.

"Truth to be told, we didn't expect it", she said.

But in a blow to the Spanish probe, a northern German state court ruled Thursday that the lack of violence in the Catalan independence bid meant that Puigdemont can't be punished for rebellion under German law.

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

Catalonia has been without a president or regional government since a regional election in December which produced a slim majority of pro-independence lawmakers in the Catalan parliament.

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