German court allows extradition of former Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont

Carles Puigdemont was living in self-imposed exile in Belgium following the failed independence bid until his arrest in Germany in March

A spokeswoman for the Schleswig Holstein court said: "The court decided this morning that an extradition due to the accusation of misuse of public funds is permissible".

A German court has authorised the extradition to Spain of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

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.

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

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.

Puigdemont hailed the decision as a victory, tweeting "we have defeated the central lie of the (Spanish) state".


The current Catalan regional premier, Quim Torra, a hard-line supporter of Catalan independence, was quick to voice his reaction to the news via Twitter.

Rebellion carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, while misuse of public funds carries up to 12 years. "The German justice system denies that the October 1 referendum was rebellion". They could not be reached for further comment by phone and did not answer an email query.

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

Puigdemont's press spokesman, Joan Maria Pique, issued a short statement saying that without the rebellion charge the "main Spanish accusation falls".

Puigdemont fled Spain to avoid jail and has been living in the German city of Hamburg as he fights extradition. Before he closed this part of the proceedings, he ordered Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras, and the four other politicians who are being held in pre-trial custody (Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Jordi Sànchez) to be suspended from their roles as deputies in the Catalan parliament.

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