Ousted Catalonia Leader Faces Extradition to Spain

Ousted Catalonia Leader Faces Extradition to SpainOusted Catalonia Leader Faces Extradition to Spain

The former Catalan president living in exile can be extradited to Spain, a German court has ruled. Carles Puigdemont fled to Belgium days after the region’s abortive declaration of independence from Spain in October and was eventually arrested in Germany.

The German court approved his extradition to face Spanish charges of misuse of public funds but not the graver charge of rebellion. German prosecutors must now decide on whether he will be handed over. They have already indicated they will extradite him, BBC reported.

Puigdemont pledged, “We will fight until the end, and we will win!” He described the decision of the court not to endorse the more serious charge of rebellion as a victory, saying he had “defeated the main lie” of the Spanish state.

He was arrested in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, in March on a European Arrest Warrant after crossing the Danish border on his way back to Belgium by car from a visit to Finland.

Bailed in April, he has frequently been reported to be in Berlin, and his Twitter profile lists his location as Hamburg.

Puigdemont’s legal team told Reuters he would appeal against any extradition decision.

If Thursday’s decision stands, Spain’s courts will be unable to put him on trial for rebellion against the government, a charge faced by fellow separatists.

While the charge of rebellion carries a sentence of up to 25 years, the maximum sentence for misuse of public funds is eight.

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