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German court says Carles Puigdemont extradition is permissable

13 July 2018

On Thursday morning, the higher court in Schleswig-Holstein authorised Puigdemont's extradition to Spain on the lesser charge of misuse of public funds, but rejected a request to send him back on grounds of rebellion.

A German court made a decision to allow former Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont's extradition to Spain for misuse of public funds.

Responding to the court decision, German prosecutors said they would soon decide whether to authorize the extradition of Puigdemont, who was arrested in March while traveling through Germany.

The charges are in connection with the Catalan regional government's unauthorized referendum a year ago on independence from Spain and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-controlled regional parliament.

The court also ruled, however, that the deposed leader's actions in Catalonia do not meet the definitions of high treason or breach of the peace and the violence triggered by the bid for independence did not pose a severe threat to Spanish rule.

"We have demolished the biggest lie propagated by the [Spanish] state", Puigdemont wrote today on Twitter.

"He was not a "spiritual leader" of violence", the court said in a statement.

Puigdemont fled Spain to avoid jail and has been living in the German city of Hamburg as he fights extradition.

According to German law, a person can be extradited only if charges against him/her are punishable in Germany. If extradited for misuse of funds, Puigdemont could not be tried for rebellion in Spain. "The German justice system denies that the October 1 referendum was rebellion".

"Catalan political prisoners should be freed NOW", he said.

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.

"This demonstrates once again the mistakes and lies behind a legal case which should never have been opened".

German court says Carles Puigdemont extradition is permissable