Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Catalan politician can legally be extradited, German court rules

Catalan politician can legally be extradited, German court rules

The charge of rebellion is not recognized in Germany and the court said related German statutes such as that against treason did not apply, because his actions "did not rise to this kind of violence". "German justice denies that the October 1 referendum was rebellion", Puigdemont tweeted following the court decision.

Puigdemont has been in Germany after fleeing Spain for Belgium previous year in the wake of the unilateral declaration of independence passed by the Catalan regional government.

The Spanish government rejects Catalan independence.

Sanchez also said he respected judicial decisions on the former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, whether issued from Germany, Belgium or Spain, after a German court said it would extradite him on the charge of misusing public funds. The court said in its ruling that he can remain free. In Spain, he could face imprisonment. If extradited, he will not be tried for rebellion.

Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont said on Thursday he and other separatists would "fight until the end" after a German court chose to allow his extradition, but not on the severe charge of rebellion demanded by a Spanish judge.

On July 9, Mr Torra and Spanish Prime Minister held a "cordial" two hour to discuss jo9nt initiatives between the two regions - but ruled out any plans to pursue Catalan indpendence.

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Andrew Smith, partner at leading criminal defence firm Corker Binning said that, due to rebellion not being recignised as an offence by most countries, that the descision to extradite him on grounds of fraud was "unsurprising". She said the Thursday decision can be appealed.

After an initial ruling that Puigdemont could not be extradited for rebellion because the comparable German treason charge requires the defendant to have committed violence, prosecutors in May said they had received new video evidence showing violence against Spanish police which they claimed made extradition on the charge possible.

He is wanted in Spain for alleged misuse of public funds in relation to Catalonia's independence declaration, as well as "rebellion" in organising a referendum that Madrid deemed illegal.

He therefore can not be extradited on a "rebellion" charge and, if he is returned to Spain, Spanish authorities can not prosecute Puigdemont based on that accusation.

This is a breaking news story.

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