German court agrees to release former Catalan leader on bail

06 April, 2018, 04:14 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • German court refuses to extradite Puigdemont on rebellion charge

The court will therefore consider his extradition on the basis of the lesser charge of misuse of public funds. The statement also said that a comparable crime in the German law might be that of "high treason", but in that case it would not be suitable as it lacks the requirement of "violence".

If extradited only on the charge of misusing public funds, Puigdemont can not be prosecuted in Spain on the more serious charge of rebellion.

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

A Spanish government source told AFP that Madrid "always respects" judicial decisions "whether they please it or not".

The misuse of public funds charge relates to the cost of the Catalan independence referendum, estimated at 1.6 million euros by Madrid.

It ordered the release of former Catalan leader on bail at €75,000 ($91,786).

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Spain has accused the Catalan separatist of rebellion and corruption after he organised an unsanctioned independence referendum.

The official, who spoke under customary anonymity, said "Spanish justice will adopt the appropriate measures in the face of these new circumstances".

He has been a fugitive since Catalonia's failed bid to become independent from Spain last October.

The charge of rebellion can bring up to 25 years in prison in Spain.

Nevertheless, Puigdemont's defence team were "very happy for our client" that the "outrageous" charge of rebellion had been set aside, Dunckel said.

Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday charged [charges, PDF, in Spanish] the former Catalan chief of police, Josep Lluís Trapero, with sedition [penal code, in Spanish] for his role in the 2017 independence referendum [JURIST report]. But he then came under severe pressure when Spanish national authorities asked his regional police force to help prevent the October 1 referendum, which triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

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