Germany to extradite former premier Carles Puigdemont for misuse of public funds

German court authorises extradition of Carles Puigdemont | Spain News

A spokeswoman for the Schleswig Holstein court said: "The court decided this morning that an extradition due to the accusation of misuse of public funds is permissible".

A German court chose to allow former Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont's extradition to Spain for misuse of public funds.

While separatists had hoped Mr. Puigdemont could avoid extradition altogether, Thursday's decision is likely to invigorate Catalonia's pro-independence forces.

Puigdemont has been in Germany after fleeing Spain for Belgium past year in the wake of the unilateral declaration of independence passed by the Catalan regional government. The court argued that the nearest German equivalent, high treason, was not applicable as Puigdemont had not caused or instigated violence.

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He was arrested in germany on March 28, with the spanish government accusing him of of rebelling and misappropriating public funds.

"We have demolished the biggest lie propagated by the [Spanish] state", Puigdemont wrote today on Twitter. "The German justice system denies that the October 1 referendum was rebellion".

German state prosecutors still have to formally decide on the extradition request, but said in a statement that they would do so "soon" and did not plan on appealing the ruling.

Puigdemont has been on bail since April, after a court ruled he could not be extradited for rebellion, as that was not actionable under German law.

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Puigdemont's press spokesman, Joan Maria Pique, issued a short statement saying that without the rebellion charge the "main Spanish accusation falls".

The court has not made a decision to impose any precautionary measures on Puigdemont, meaning that he remains a free man. "He remains free. And there are options to rebut the embezzlement". "It will be in Europe where we win". "This would have been an argument available to Mr Puigdemont and other Catalan Ministers had they contested their extradition from England".

Catalonia's current separatist President Quim Torra, who is close to Puigdemont, tweeted that "once more the machinations and lies of a judicial case that never should have started have come to light".

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