German court orders Carles Puigdemont's release on bail

Spokesperson for the German court Frauke Holmer said early today that the charges are being analyzed in depth and whether Puigdemont should remain in prison, following the request to process his extradition by the Prosecutor's Office.

The court in Schleswig-Holstein in the north of the country ruled that the man wanted by Madrid for his role in last year's declaration of independence can be freed on bail of €75,000.

Spain accuses the Catalan separatist of rebellion and corruption after he organised an unsanctioned independence referendum.

The separatist leader was arrested in late March in northern Germany, while he was traveling from Denmark to Belgium.

"Puigdemont's Barcelona-based lawyer Jaime Alonso-Cuevillas tweeted: "[Puigdemont] always said that he had full confidence in the German judiciary".

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Spain issued an extradition warrant against Puigdemont for rebellion and misuse of public funds after the ousted Catalan president fled the country in October.

However, the court disagreed Thursday, saying Puigdemont can't be extradited for rebellion. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

The official, who spoke under customary anonymity, said "Spanish justice will adopt the appropriate measures in the face of these new circumstances". The statement also said that a comparable crime in the German law might be that of "high treason", but in that case it would not be suitable as it lacks the requirement of "violence".

In an indictment Thursday, Spanish National Court Judge Carmen Lamela says former Mossos d'Esquadra chief Josep Lluis Trapero was part of an organized plan to seek Catalonia's secession from Spain.

The former chief of Catalonia's regional police and other regional security officials have been charged with sedition over their role in events leading past year to a banned independence referendum. But he then came under severe pressure when Spanish national authorities asked his regional police force to help prevent the October 1 referendum, which triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

  • Adam Floyd