German court grants Puigdemont bail, rejects Spain's extradition request

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  April 5, 2018 at 3:48 PM
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April 5 (UPI) -- A German court granted bail to former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday and denied Spain's request for extradition on the grounds of rebellion.

The Higher Regional Court in Schleswig said it would not accept Spain's extradition request because the country doesn't have a comparable law. The court said it would consider an extradition request based on allegations of corruption, though.

The court ordered Puigdemont's release on about $90,000 bail.

German police arrested Puigdemont in March while he was crossing into the country from Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium. Puigdemont had been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels after the Catalan Parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October.

After a referendum in Catalonia, the central government in Madrid voided the Catalan regional government, imposed direct rule and called new elections. Spain's Supreme Court determined 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state. Spain issued a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont in March, shortly before his arrest in Germany.

Also Thursday, Spanish police arrested Josep Lluís Trapero, the former head of the Catalan police force, for his alleged role in the independence bid.

Spanish national court judge Carmen Pamela said the regional police force "shared a common goal of bringing about Catalonia's secession and the proclamation of a republic, and in this manner changing the political organization of the state and the government, contrary to the Constitution and the statute of autonomy."

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