Monday, 22 October, 2018

Judge charges ex-Catalan police chief with sedition

Ex-Catalan Police Chief Indicted Over Involvement in Independence Referendum Carles Puigdemont released on bail by German court
Glenn Montgomery | 06 April, 2018, 04:15

A court official in Germany says that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's release from prison is conditioned on his remaining in Germany while extradition proceedings continue and reporting to police once a week.

"There is a risk of flight", the court found in its explanation of its decision to grant bail.

The Spanish government said it respected the decision of the German court.

He had been living there after being charged by Spanish authorities with rebellion and misuse of public funds in last year's Catalan independence referendum, which the Spanish central government deems to have been illegal.

German prosecutors argued earlier this week that the main charge of rebellion is equivalent to Germany's criminal offense of treason.

Puigdemont's lawyers have appealed in Spain against the "rebellion" charge, highlighting that he was not involved in violence.

The rebellion charge would carry a maximum sentence of 30 years' imprisonment, while sedition carries a 15-year penalty.

It has asked for further information on these charges and set bail at €75,000.

Spain has accused the Catalan separatist of rebellion and corruption after he organised an unsanctioned independence referendum.

The official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said "Spanish justice will adopt the appropriate measures in the face of these new circumstances".

Former Catalan police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero was indicted today by Judge Carmen Lamela of the Spanish national court for his involvement in the independence movement.

He fled to Belgium after Spain's prime minister removed him from office and a sedition investigation was launched against politicians who led Catalonia's declaration of independence in October.

He then came under pressure when central authorities urged the regional police to stop the October 1 referendum banned by Spanish courts.

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