Wednesday, 24 April, 2019

Former Catalan chief of police charged with sedition

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont | Emmanuel Dunand  AFP via Getty Images Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont | Emmanuel Dunand AFP via Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 06 April, 2018, 07:04

The Schleswig court considered him to be less of a flight risk because he is being considered for the corruption, not rebellion, charges.

The state court in Schleswig ruled on Thursday that there was no reason to believe Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont risked persecution in Spain.

Responding to the ruling, a Spanish official said Mariano Rajoy's government respects judicial decisions "always, when it likes them and when it doesn't".

But the court disagreed, saying that Mr Puigdemont can not be extradited for rebellion.

German prosecutors have argued that the charge of rebellion is similar to Germany's offence of treason.

Puigdemont can leave prison as soon as he posts the bail, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

He was arrested in the north German region last month, after Spain issued a European arrest warrant.

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The ruling means Mr Puigdemont, who fled Spain five months ago for Belgium after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed his regional administration, can not be tried for rebellion in Spain once extradited on the lesser charge, a German court spokeswoman said.

"That is not the case here", the court said in a statement.

German police arrested Puigdemont in March while he was crossing into the country from Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium.

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

The separatists' maneuvers come after a string of setbacks for their ambitions since October, with Spanish courts blocking moves toward independence and bringing charges against the movement's leaders.

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