Spain will respect German ruling on Puigdemont

Catalonia's Carles Puigdemont calls on Madrid to 'respect democracy'

The court said Thursday that Puigdemont can't be extradited on the main charge Spain is leveling against him, that of rebellion, because the comparable German charge of treason specifies "violence".

A previous attempt to appoint Sanchez as regional president failed last month after Spain's Supreme Court turned down a request for him to be released from jail to be sworn in.

The Spanish Supreme Court is considering appealing to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on extradition procedures among EU member states.

Rajoy's position was not shared by the leading politician of his conservative Popular Party in Catalonia.

Activists put up banners with the photos of jailed leaders of Catalan pro-independence movements before Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont addresses a news conference in Berlin. "We are ready to listen", Puigdemont said in a news conference at Kreuzberg district in Berlin, a day after his release on bail on Friday. He'll remain on bail in Berlin until a German judge makes a final decision on his extradition.

Separatists in Catalonia's regional parliament already tried to elect Sanchez as regional chief but their efforts were blocked by a judge last month.

The court has concluded that extradition to Spain was not possible on the charge of "rebellion", since it did not see evidence that Puigdemont meant to use force to gain Catalan independence.

German court refuses to extradite ex-Catalan leader on rebellion charge
German police arrested Puigdemont in March while he was crossing into the country from Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium. Puigdemont's German lawyer said the separatist politician was arranging the transfer of the bail money to Germany.

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A demonstration against his still-possible extradition to Spain was also planned in the northern town of Neumuenster, where Puigdemont had been held following his arrest on March 25.

The court ordered his release on a bail of €75,000 ($91,786).

Puigdemont was arrested by German police March 25 as he entered the country from Denmark en route to Belgium, where he's been based since making an illegal declaration of independence from Spain previous year.

Since October, Puigdemont was living in Belgium.

Katarina Barley told daily Sueddeutsche on Saturday the judges' decision was "absolutely right" and what she'd expected.

Spain's Supreme Court reactivated worldwide arrest warrants last month for Puigdemont and four other Catalan politicians who went into self-imposed exile previous year. Puigdemont can still be extradited on the less serious charge of misuse of funds.

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