German prosecutor requests ex-Catalan leader’s extradition order

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Berlin, April 3 (IANS) A German prosecutor on Tuesday formally requested an extradition order against Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont, who has been imprisoned for over a week in Schleswig-Holstein following a European arrest warrant issued by Madrid.

According to a statement released by the Schleswig-Holstein attorney general, the prosecution asked the regional top court for Puigdemont to be extradited to Spain, where he is wanted for alleged rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds after staging a banned referendum on the region’s independence, reports Efe news.

“Today, the attorney general of Schleswig-Holstein has petitioned the regional court to issue an extradition order against the former regional president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, in accordance with article 15 of German law relating to international cooperation in criminal matters,” the statement said.

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It added that, after a careful examination of the European arrest warrant, the regional prosecution had come to the conclusion that there was an admissible demand for Puigdemont’s extradition by following the proper procedures.

In international law, in order for a person to be extradited, there must be a legal equivalent for the crime in the extraditing country.

Puigdemont, 55, was deposed on October 27, 2017 after Madrid cited Article 155 of the Spanish constitution to dissolve the Catalan parliament and the regional government.

Fearing impending arrest, he went into exile in Belgium.

On March 26, Puigdemont was arrested by German police shortly after he crossed the border with Denmark, as he was returning to Belgium from in Finland.

Meanwhile, other members of Puigdemont’s former cabinet and key leaders of the pro-Catalan independence movement remain jailed in Spain facing similar charges.

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On Sunday, hundreds of people marched in Berlin to express solidarity with Puigdemont and demand his freedom.



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