Spain will respect German ruling on Puigdemont

The supreme and the prosecution are trying to keep the crime of rebellion alive

Speaking at a press conference following his release on bail from German prison on Friday, Puigdemont also called for "negotiation based on mutual respect" about Catalonia's bid for independence. "If possible I would return to Belgium", Puigdemont made the remarks in the German capital a day after he was released from the Neumunster prison.

Puigdemont also thanked the German authorities for "their professionality and for their respect", and thanked his fellow inmates for "their solidarity and help for me to adapt quickly to the situation".

The speaker of Catalonia's regional parliament has again put forward a jailed separatist activist to be elected as the northeast Spanish region's new leader.

The Schleswig prosecutor's office said Puigdemont was given an address in Germany, where he will reside until judges decide on Spain's extradition request.

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"My plan is to remain of course in Berlin".

Towards the end of his statement, he said: "I have always wanted global mediation... one of my last interventions was to ask Spanish authorities to accept the mediation of other European states".

Catalan separatist and the former head of the regional government Carles Puigdemont paid bail on Friday, allowing him to walk out of jail after he was arrested last month on a European warrant. 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 Justice Minister Katarina Barley has praised the court's decision, telling the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday that the judges' decision was "absolutely right". The court, however, has not ruled out extradition on the charge of "embezzlement".

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Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said that he meant to stay in Berlin until court proceedings on his case were finalized while expressing hope to return to Brussels afterward.

On Thursday, a German court ruled that he could not be extradited on grounds of rebellion, as the equivalent charge under German law, treason, requires a defendant to have committed violence.

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.

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

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