Former Catalan president, wanted by Spain, is granted bail by German court

Spain has accused the Catalan separatist leader of rebellion, but a court in Berlin said the charge was not valid in Germany

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 3:33am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 4:12am

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont can be released on bail, a German court ruled on Thursday, adding that while he could still be extradited to Spain on corruption charges he could not be extradited for the more serious charge of rebellion.

Puigdemont was arrested on entering Germany last month on a Spanish-issued warrant. 

Spain has  accused the Catalan separatist of rebellion and corruption after he organised an unsanctioned independence referendum. 

Ex-Catalan president says should have proclaimed independence

The court, in Berlin, said the rebellion charge Puigdemont faced in Spain was not a criminal offence in Germany, while the violence component that would justify a high treason charge was also missing.

Proceedings to decide whether to extradite him on corruption charges could continue, it said. It set bail at €75,000 (US$91,710).

“There is a risk of flight,” the court found in its explanation of its decision to grant bail. “But since extradition on rebellion charges is impermissible, the risk of flight is substantially lessened.”

The Spanish government was not immediately able to comment.

Puigdemont entered Germany on his way back from Finland to Belgium, where he is living in self-imposed exile.