Ex-Catalan leader’s extradition legally admissible: German court

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Berlin, July 12 (IANS) A German court on Thursday ruled that the extradition of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont would be legally admissible on one of the charges brought against him by authorities in Spain, but not on two others.

Puigdemont, who currently lives in self-imposed exile in Germany, was wanted by a magistrate at Spain’s national court for allegedly committing the crimes of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement when his government held an independence referendum on October 1, 2017, that had been deemed unlawful because it breached the Spanish Constitution, reports Efe news.

The high court of the state of Schleswig-Holstein said that, following a request by state prosecutors, it considered “extradition for the charge of rebellion inadmissible”, since the alleged acts “fulfilled neither the German offence of high treason”.

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The court added that Puigdemont could not be considered the “intellectual leader” of any violence that occurred in the days leading up to and after the referendum.

With regard to the allegation of misappropriation of public funds, the court upheld its earlier assessment and declared an extradition would be admissible on those grounds, as there was some evidence that Puigdemont was co-responsible for the introduction of financial obligations to the detriment of public coffers.

“As regional president, (Puigdemont) could have easily foreseen that the implementation of a referendum would cost money,” the court said.

However, the court refrained from ordering the detention of Puigdemont while he awaits a final decision on the extradition, arguing that the former Catalan president had always complied with the conditions of his release on bail after he was arrested while crossing the Danish-German border on March 25.

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–IANS

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