United Nations expert urges Spain not to pursue charges of rebellion

Hugh Fox
April 8, 2018

The court ruled earlier Thursday that Puigdemont can be released on bail pending a decision on his extradition to Spain, saying the most serious accusation he faces there isn't punishable under German law.

"I am hopeful that Spain will deploy its democratic institutions to foster space for debate, and find creative tools of dialogue and reconciliation to deal with the current political situation", Kaye added.

"This opens a new opportunity of dialogue".

Mr. Puigdemont, " fifty five, told reporters he would remain in Berlin until his extradition case is concluded.

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Puigdemont is expected to speak at noon (1000 GMT) at Aquarium, a former pet store that is now a refugee advocacy centre in a primarily residential part of Berlin's Kreuzberg district.

He says the Spanish government "met its obligations" by imposing direct rule on Catalonia after Puigdemont and other separatists organized a forbidden referendum last October on Catalonia's independence.

The 55-year-old separatist leader was caught on the entry of Germany from Denmark on March 25 en route to his residence in Belgium.

The former chief of Catalonia's regional police and other regional security officials have been charged with sedition over their role in events leading previous year to a banned independence referendum.

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TRT World spoke with Barcelona-based journalist Marah Rayan for more details. A German court refused to extradite him on charges on rebellion, but is considering Spain's request to extradite him on the lesser charge of misuse of funds. He was travelling by vehicle through Germany at the time, from Finland to Belgium, where he has lived since fleeing Spanish justice a year ago.

A demonstration was planned in the northern German town of Neumünster, where Puigdemont had been held since his detention, against his still-possible extradition.

A German court is deciding whether Puigdemont should be extradited on the lesser charge of misuse of public funds to hold a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia previous year.

Ms. Barley claimed that it was now up to Spain to prove that their additional prices against Mr. Puigdemont, which she said "won't even be more easy".

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Speaking from Seville where the governing People's Party is holding a national convention this weekend, Rajoy said he respected the court's decision but doubled down on his defense of the Spanish constitution.

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