01:32 GMT +319 August 2018
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    Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, center, stands with elected Catalan lawmakers of his Together for Catalonia party at a park in Brussels

    Tracking Device Was Reportedly Installed in Ex-Catalan Head Puigdemont's Car

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    Earlier in March, Puigdemont was detained in Germany and is now in custody in the German city of Neumunster awaiting the decision on his extradition to Spain.

    The Soir newspaper reports that exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont could have been tracked by intelligence services as a tracking wire was found in his car to keep an eye on his movement.

    "As it became known from reliable sources, a tracking device was installed in Puigdemont's car which was transporting him from Finland to Belgium. It allowed tracking the travel of the ex-Catalan head, while the European arrest warrant for him was in action," according to the media.

    Previously, Focus magazine, which, according to Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange, has close ties to German intelligence, reported that Spanish intelligence had been keeping an eye on Puigdemont on his way from Finland to Germany.

    READ MORE: Catalan Parliament Recognizes Puigdemont’s Right to Lead Catalonia — Reports

    Puigdemont, charged with organizing an insurrection and embezzling state funds, was detained in Germany on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge last Sunday. Puigdemont is currently in custody in the German city of Neumunster. He is scheduled to testify in court in the state of Schleswig-Holstein on April 2, but the decision on his extradition is expected to be taken no earlier than next week

    Meanwhile, German lawyer Wolfgang Schomburg, who represents the former Catalan leader's interests, has called on the German government to prevent his client's extradition to Spain, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    Schomburg urged Berlin to declare, "without delay," that Germany would by no means grant political approval for extradition. This kind of approval is necessary for extradition under the rules of International Judicial Assistance, regardless of the court's legal decision. Given the importance of the case, the lawyer expects intervention from German Justice Minister Katarina Barley. Schomburg told the publication that he intended to appeal to the German Federal Constitutional Court unless it declares that his client should be released from prison.

    Earlier in the day, a poll conducted by the Institute of Sociology Civey revealed that the majority of Germans were opposed to Puigdemont's extradition to Spain. Puigdemont's arrest this weekend sparked protests across Catalonia, with about 50,000 people taking to the streets to show their support for their former president.

    READ MORE: UN Human Rights Committee Registered Puigdemont's Complaint Against Spain

    Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest following the October independence referendum in Catalonia, which the central authorities did not recognize. After the regional parliament unilaterally announced independence based on the results of the vote, Madrid imposed direct rule over the autonomous region, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. In November, a Spanish court issued a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont and several other former members of the Catalan government. The following month, however, Spain dropped the warrant, saying that the former Catalan president appeared willing to return.

    Related:

    Catalan Parliament Recognizes Puigdemont’s Right to Lead Catalonia - Reports
    UN Human Rights Committee Registered Puigdemont's Complaint Against Spain
    MP on Ex-Catalan President Puigdemont's Arrest: 'Fierce Attempt' by Madrid
    9 People Detained in Barcelona Over Protests After Puigdemont's Arrest – Reports
    Finnish Police Receive Request for Extradition of Ex-Catalan Head Puigdemont
    Puigdemont Ready for Talks With Madrid Regarding His Return to Spain
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    tapping, car, Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia, Spain
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