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Germany refused to extradite Catalonian's leader-in-exile

CataloniaPuigdemontSpain has cancelled its international arrest warrants for the rebel Catalonian politicians after a Germany judge refused to approve the extradition of Carles Puigdemont.

Spain’s supreme court therefore has dropped its international arrest warrants for the rebel politicians who were wanted on charges of rebellion for declaring Catalonia’s independence from Spain last year.

The German court decision ruled that Puigdemont could not be sent back to Spain for rebellion, only for the separate charge of embezzlement for the alleged misuse of public funds for a referendum on Catalonia’s separation from Spain - another charge cooked up by Madrid which is determined to rid the continent of what it sees as a dangerous upstart.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest after the Spanish government removed him from office at the end of October 2017.

Under European law, if the extradition from Germany went ahead, Madrid could not then try Puigdemont for rebellion.

Judge Pablo Llarena said he wanted Mr Puigdemont and his allies to face the rebellion and sedition charges, as well as misuse of public funds and was scathing in his assessment of the German court’s decision, describing it as “a lack of commitment” in pursuing the fugitives.

Llarena lifted the arrest warrant for Puigdemont and dropped the international and European arrest warrants for the five other Catalan pro-independence leaders currently in exile. This means that if these six exiled politicians returned to Spain voluntarily, they would face rebellion and sedition charges.

The charges related to the Catalan regional government’s unauthorised referendum on independence from Spain on 1 October 2017, and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-controlled regional parliament.

While this declaration gained no international recognition, it led to a stand-off between the regional government and the government in Madrid, leading to Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades.

Nine prominent Catalan separatist politicians languish in Spanish jails, awaiting possible trial for promoting the region’s attempt to split from Spain.

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+2 #3 G. Davies 2018-07-21 08:42
A good short term outcome for the exiled Catalan politicians but how does this help the imprisoned ones? Longer term will the exiles try and sneak back or under immunity make statements in Spanish court helping the imprisoned rebellious ones? Or will they all be charged with misusing public funds - a crime that is rampant across the EU and a recognised sport with a rule book and administration in countries like Portugal.
That said it was plainly idiotic for high and mighty Germany to have arrested this chap when he had already travelled from EU Belgium through their country and deep into EU Scandinavia and back without trouble. At most the Germans should have officially flown him back to Brussels and, with publicity, told the Belgians to keep a better grip on him.
+3 #2 Chip 2018-07-20 17:08
Spain's vindictive attack on Puigdemont and his colleagues mirrors the EU's approach to Brexit.
+2 #1 nogin the nog 2018-07-20 16:49
These elected officials gave the people what they asked for a chance to vote . They took that chance in there millions and voted for Independence. Since then these Elected Officials have been hounded across Europe and beyond by a fascist Spanish State. The Judge in Germany denied the International arrest warrant because there is no case of Rebellion, as the Catalan people voted for change.. 8)

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