06:44 GMT +318 February 2019
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    Portrait of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont attached to the fence of the prison (Justizvollzugsanstalt, JVA) of Neumuenster, northern Germany, where Puigdemont ,former Catalan regional president, is detained

    German Court Releases Ex-Catalan Leader Puigdemont on Bail

    © AFP 2018 / AXEL HEIMKEN
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    Carles Puigdemont, charged with organizing an insurrection and embezzling state funds, is currently in custody in the German city of Neumunster after he was detained earlier in March on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge.

    The court of the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein has ruled to release former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on bail in the sum of 75,000 Euro (about $92,000) for the duration of extradition hearings.

    READ MORE: Puigdemont Pledges to Stick to Ideas of Catalonia's Independence Despite Arrest

    Spain has requested to extradite ex-Catalan leader, however, German state court says that only corruption charges against Puigdemont may be a potential basis for his extradition to Spain. The judge rejects Spain's main accusations of rebellion, as in Germany the treason charge implies the use of violence. The court added that it also finds no reason to believe that ex-Catalan leader risks persecution in Spain.

    Puigdemont was detained in Germany on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain on March 25, when he crossed the border with Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium, where he currently resides.  In Spain, the ex-president is facing up to 30 years in prison for rebellion and misappropriation of state funds.

    Madrid accuses the politician of embezzling more than 1.5 million euros by proclaiming an illegal independence referendum in the rebellious region of Catalonia on October 1. Puigdemont's bid to separate Catalonia from Spain is considered by the Spanis authorities as a rebellion.

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

    In October 2017, over 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans who participated in the vote, supported the autonomous region's secession from Spain. Madrid dubbed the referendum illegal and subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest, whereas several ministers of the former Catalan government were detained.


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    bail, court, Carles Puigdemont, Germany, Catalonia, Spain