Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Spain will respect German ruling on Puigdemont

Spain will respect German ruling on Puigdemont

"The time for dialogue has arrived", he declared, condemning the "violent and repressive response" the push for secession has received from the Spanish government. The court has concluded that extradition to Spain was not possible on the charge of "rebellion", since it did not see evidence that Puigdemont meant to use force to gain Catalan independence.

A demonstration was planned in the northern German town of Neumünster, where Puigdemont had been held since his detention, against his still-possible extradition.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has made a renewed call for Spanish authorities to open negotiations over the region's secession bid. "Today we must ask they rectify, now that there is a resolution by the United Nations human rights committee", Puigdemont said.

Puigdemont renewed calls to back Sanchez at a press conference in Berlin Saturday, a day after he was released on bail from a German prison. Puigdemont can still be extradited on the less serious charge of misuse of funds.

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Separatist politicians are considering a second attempt to elect Sanchez after being emboldened by a German court's decision not to extradite Puigdemont.

On March 23, Spanish Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena initiated a European arrest warrant for 25 Catalan politicians, including Puigdemont, regarding the illegitimate Catalan independence referendum of 2017.

Misuse of public funds carries a sentence of up to eight years in Spain, while a rebellion sentence can reach 30 years. He was trying to drive from Finland to Belgium, where he had been living since fleeing to escape arrest in Spain.

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said that he meant to stay in Berlin until court proceedings on his case were finalized while expressing hope to return to Brussels afterward.

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Puigdemont left jail in Germany on Friday after a court said he could be released on bail.

Puigdemont can move freely in Germany pending a decision on his extradition, though he must report to police once a week and inform prosecutors of any change in residence.

The state court in Schleswig said Thursday that the charge of rebellion wouldn't warrant extradition because the equivalent German law presumes the use or threat of force sufficient to bend the will of authorities.

He says the Spanish government "met its obligations" by imposing direct rule on Catalonia after Puigdemont and other separatists organized the independence referendum a year ago.

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