German court rules Carles Puigdemont can be extradited to Spain for corruption
12 July, 2018, 19:02 | Author: Myra Gill
But, a further charge of inciting rebellion, dating back to the Catalan uprising in 2017, did not warrant the former leader to be extradited from Germany to Spain, the court ruled. This means that he can only be tried on the former charge once he is back in Spain. The court said in its ruling that he can remain free.
Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont said on Thursday he and other separatists would "fight until the end" after a German court made a decision to allow his extradition, but not on the severe charge of rebellion demanded by a Spanish judge.
The other nine are in custody in Spain awaiting trial.
"The accusation of misuse of public funds is acceptable, extradition for rebellion is not acceptable", the German court stated in a press release.
"However, in authorising Mr Puigdemont's extradition for the offence of misuse of public funds, it seems that the German court rejected, or was unable to consider, whether extradition should be refused on the basis that the prosecution was politically motivated".
"The amount of violence required for the charge of high treason was not seen in the altercations in Spain".
Puigdemont hailed the decision as a victory, tweeting "we have defeated the central lie of the (Spanish) state. German justice denies that the referendum on October 1 was rebellion", Puigdemont said in a Twitter post following the court ruling.
"Every minute that our companions spend in prison is a minute of shame and injustice". "We will fight until the end, and we will win!"
The Spanish government rejects Catalan independence.
Meanwhile, new Catalan president Quim Torra met Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh on Wednesday, in an event that represented the "starting point" for a close relationship between Catalonia and Scotland. "We will win in Europe", Torra tweeted. The 18 suspects are now a step away from going to trial, which is likely to be held at the end of this year or the start of the next.
This week saw Pablo Llarena, the High Court judge in charge of the cases against the pro-independence figures, wind up the investigative phase of the probe.
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