Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

German court rejects extradition of Puigdemont on rebellion charge

German court rejects extradition of Puigdemont on rebellion charge

A German court ruled former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont will not face extradition to Spain over rebellion charges.

Further court proceedings shall determine if he shall be continued to be extradited on the corruption charges.

Puigdemont entered Germany on his way back from Finland to Belgium, where he is living in self-imposed exile.

The Spanish government and judiciary did not have an immediate reaction to the German ruling.

The misuse of public funds charge relates to the cost of the Catalan independence referendum, estimated at 1.6 million euros by Madrid.

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.

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It ordered the release of former Catalan leader on bail at €75,000 ($91,786).

In Brussels, three fugitive allies of Puigdemont were held briefly Thursday before being conditionally released by Belgian judicial authorities to await a decision on whether they should be extradited to Spain.

"The government is sure that Spain's justice system will take the appropriate measures given these new circumstances, to ensure respect for the laws of our country", the source added.

Puigdemont had proposed Sanchez - his No. 2 in the Together for Catalonia party - last month, but Spain's Supreme Court refused to free him to attend a parliamentary session.

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

The Spanish government's quelling of the October 1 independence referendum drew worldwide condemnation and outrage, with footage of national police officers and members of the Civil Guardia seizing ballot boxes and violently dispersing voters going viral on social media. Two other members of the regional police and an official with the regional interior department were also indicted Thursday.

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