German Court Says Spain Separatist Leader Can't Be Extradited for Rebellion

Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont can be extradited for corruption not rebellion – German court

Spain charged top Catalan separatists over October's independence referendum.

The German court rejected a request to extradite Puigdemont for treason, which is Germany's most comparable law to rebellion. It wasn't immediately clear when Puigdemont would be released.

"The government is sure that Spain's justice system will take the appropriate measures given these new circumstances, to ensure respect for the laws of our country", the source added.

The Higher Regional Court in northern Schleswig city ruled that Spain's extradition request based on charges of "corruption" was admissible, and said it would seek more information on these accusations.

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Mr Puigdemont faces charges of sedition, rebellion and misappropriation of public funds in Spain as a result of his role in last year's Catalan banned independence referendum.

Earlier on March 25, the Puigdemont was arrested on a Spanish-issued warrant as he attempted to enter Germany via Finland.

Madrid also accuses Puigdemont of misuse of public funds.

Former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont has written an open letter from a German prison, urging Catalonia's parliament to make another attempt to elect jailed separatist activist Jordi Sanchez as the region's president.

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However, the court disagreed Thursday, saying Puigdemont can't be extradited for rebellion.

The ex-police chief - who was credited for the force's swift response in the 2017 Barcelona terror attacks - resigned a year ago in the aftermath of the referendum.

"That is not the case here", the court said in a statement.

He fled to Belgium after Spain's prime minister removed him from office and a sedition investigation was launched against politicians who led Catalonia's declaration of independence in October.

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Trapero was hailed in Catalonia as a local hero for the handling of deadly extremist attacks in and near Barcelona last summer.

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