Catalan ex-president Puigdemont may be extradited to Spain soon

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The extradition order for Carles Puigdemont, the ousted president of the Spanish region of Catalonia, could soon be approved by a German state attorney general, a spokesperson told dpa on Thursday.

A court in the northern German city of Schleswig ruled that Puigdemont could be extradited to Spain to face charges of misappropriation of public funds in connection with the region’s unauthorised independence referendum in October.

However, it rejected Spanish prosecutors’ charge of rebellion.

Puigdemont’s German defence lawyers emphasised that the court’s decision would thus rule out prosecution in Spain on the rebellion charge.

“We have defeated the main lie upheld by the state. German justice denies that the referendum on Oct. 1 was rebellion.

“Every minute spent by our colleagues in prison is a minute of shame and injustice.

“We will fight to the end, and we will win!” Puigdemont said, referring to other independence leaders in detention.

The extradition still requires the approval of the attorney general in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in order to be executed.

The state prosecutor had on June 1 requested the reinstatement of an arrest warrant against Puigdemont, citing a persistent risk of flight.

However, the court ruled that the 55-year-old Puigdemont can remain free, as he has complied with all the conditions of his release.

Spain has demanded Puigedmont’s extradition due to his key role in the disputed Oct. 1 referendum, and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-led regional parliament.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium following the referendum, but was arrested in Germany on March 25, just after crossing the Danish border on his way by car from an engagement in Finland back to Brussels.

 

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Author: Segun Adio