Former Catalan president, wanted by Spain, is granted bail by German court

Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont can be extradited for corruption not rebellion – German court
Mads Claus Rasmussen Scanpix AFP
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06 April, 2018

But neither the Spanish government nor the country's Supreme Court would confirm that this meant the ex-Catalan leader could not now face trial for rebellion - which can bring up to 25 years in prison in Spain.

Puigdemont was arrested on entering Germany last month on a Spanish-issued warrant. It set bail at €75,000 (US$91,710).

Catalan parliament president Roger Torrent described Mr Puigdemont's conditional release as "very good news" on Twitter.

The Spanish government says it can't assess the decision by a German court to release on bail the former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont until it has more details about the ruling - but is vowing to respect it.

The German system is still studying Spain's extradition request.

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Rebellion is not a criminal offence in Germany, the court said, and the charge of high treason was unwarranted, due to the lack of a violent aspect to Puigdemont's actions.

Spain respects the German court's decision, a Spanish government spokeswoman said earlier. Puigdemont was imprisoned in Neumünster after being arrested at his entry to Germany through the border with Denmark, following an order given by the court of that city to keep him in prison and avoid his escape.

The Catalan separatist leader could still be extradited on a charge of misusing public funds, the judges added, although "further facts must be clarified and information gathered" in the coming days and weeks.

The former chief of Catalonia's regional police and other regional security officials have been charged with sedition over their role in events leading a year ago to a banned independence referendum. Two other members of the regional police and an official with the regional interior department were also indicted.

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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