"My duty is to remain here in Germany until the end of the judicial process here … And if, finally, I am released and not charged here, my goal [will be] to return to Belgium but only after the end of the process here in Germany – not before," Carles Puigdemont said at a press conference, broadcast live.
Also on Saturday, Puigdemont urged the international community to pay attention to the regional politicians and activists detained by the Spanish authorities, renewing a call for their release.
The High Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein on April 5, released the ex-president, who was arrested last month on a Spanish-issued warrant as he entered Germany, on a 75,000-euro ($91,700) bail. The court has concluded that extradition to Spain was not possible on the charge of "rebellion," since it did not see evidence that Puigdemont intended to use force to gain Catalan independence. The court, however, has not ruled out extradition on the charge of "embezzlement."
Press conference by Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont, Saturday April 7th, 12h, Skalitzer Str. 6, 10999 Berlin pic.twitter.com/03iKqeF75n— Carles Puigdemont 🎗 (@KRLS) April 7, 2018
The autonomous region of Catalonia held a referendum on independence on October 1, in which over 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans, who participated in the vote, approved the region's secession from Spain. Madrid announced the vote illegal and subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.