Sunday, 22 April, 2018

German prosecutors request Puigdemont's extradition to Spain

German prosecutor seeks Carles Puigdemont extradition Germany Files Request to Extradite Puigdemont
Glenn Montgomery | 05 April, 2018, 01:43

If the court agrees to the request, prosecutors would still need to issue an order signing off on Mr Puigdemont's extradition.

While the charge of rebellion does not apply in Germany, the state prosecutor said on Tuesday that it could be equated with high treason in German law.

Puigdemont has been held in a detention centre in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week after he was arrested in Germany on March 25th. Global arrest warrants are active against four other politicians who fled overseas previous year, including Carla Ponsati, a former Catalan education minister and nationalist leader, who is fighting extradition from her current place of residence in Scotland.

They said: "After an exhaustive analysis of the EAW of the Supreme Court of Madrid dated March 23, 2018, the Attorney General's Office has taken the decision to present a pertinent request for extradition".

Prosecutors in the state of Schleswig-Holstein said in a statement the accusation of rebellion included carrying out an anti-constitutional referendum even though violent clashes could be expected. It must make a decision within 60 days, although it may ask for an extra 30 days if necessary.

In the appeal, Alonso-Cuevillas demands that the court drop the charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

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

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, speaking during a visit to Algeria, said his country would respect the ruling by the German courts.

Mr Puigdemont's lawyers have urged the German government to intervene in the case, citing the "political dimension". "It is in the hands of the courts", a justice ministry spokesman said.

In an interview from jail, published on Monday, Mr Puigdemont insisted the campaign for the Spanish region's independence was nonviolent.

But it maintains that if there was any violence before or on October 1, the day when an independence referendum was held in Catalonia despite a court ban, it was "isolated" and did not justify the rebellion offence.

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

The former Catalan leader was arrested late last month, while driving into Germany from Denmark.

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