German prosecutors apply for Puigdemont’s extradition

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German prosecutors have applied for the extradition of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain, where he has been accused of rebellion and corruption. 

State prosecutors on Friday said they made the formal request for extradition at the upper regional court of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. 

Puigdemont was arrested as he entered Germany on a Spanish-issued warrant in late March.

The former Catalan president fled Spain for Belgium in October after his administration’s declaration of independence from Spain led to the central government in Madrid taking direct control of the regional government.

He is wanted in Spain for alleged misuse of public funds in relation to Catalonia’s independence declaration, as well as “rebellion” in organising a referendum that Madrid deemed illegal. 

In April, the Schleswig-Holstein court ruled that Puigdemont could not be extradited for rebellion, because the comparable German treason charge requires the defendant to have committed violence. 

But last month prosecutors said they had received new video evidence showing violence against Spanish police which made extradition on the charge possible. 

“The material delivered by the Spanish authorities is not contradictory, but clearly shows that the violence in Catalonia on election day can be attributed to the wanted individual,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The court will make the final decision on whether Puigdemont will be returned to Spain. 

Puigdemont has denied his charges. 

Madrid’s takeover of Catalonia is set to end on Saturday when a new regional government will be sworn in. 

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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