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German prosecutor general requests extradition of Carles Puigdemont to Spain

Tuesday, 3 April, 2018 - 17:44

The prosecutor general of Schleswig-Holstein, the region of northern Germany where the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, is being detained, has announced that he will ask the judges to extradite the prisoner to Spain.

According to prosecutor general’s office the European arrest warrant issued by Madrid for rebellion, breach of trust and embezzlement of public funds, is compatible with German law.

After a “thorough analysis” of the Spanish request, the Attorney General came to the conclusion “that the request for extradition, according to the charges, was admissible”. The prosecutor also points to a “flight risk” of the separatist leader and therefore calls for his continued detention until the end of the proceedings. Since the arrest of the former Catalan president on March 25, the question of the admissibility of the extradition request was particularly relevant to the charge of “rebellion”. In this case, the prosecution considers that it amounts to high treason against the state in the German Criminal Code.

Carles Puigdemont’s lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, reacted to the announcement on Catalan radio. According to him, “the German prosecution is defending the Spanish justice” and the procedure is far from over. German legal counsel for the separatist also formally challenged the prosecution’s position. Politically, the most virulent critics came from the left. Die Linke claims that Puigdemont can only be extradited with the status of political prisoner and calls on Angela Merkel’s government and the European Union to mediate the crisis.

The announcement on Tuesday did not seal the fate of Carles Puigdemont. It is now up to the judges to decide, within sixty days, whether or not to hand over the former Catalan leader to Spain. His defence has already announced that it would use all possible remedies, including before the German Constitutional Court, if extradition was ordered.


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