12:22 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks during a media conference in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017

    German Court Rules to Extradite Ex-Catalan Head For Public Funds Misuse

    © AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
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    The German prosecutors have been seeking Puigdemont's extradition to Spain, where he is wanted for rebellion and misuse of public funds over his role in the campaign for Catalonia's independence.

    Germany's superior court of Schleswig-Holstein state has made a decision to extradite the ex-head of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont to Spain over accusations for graft.

    "Extradition on the accusation of misappropriation of public funds is permissible; extradition on the accusation of rebellion is not permissible," the court's statement reads.

    Following the announcement, Germany's state prosecutor said that the decision whether to authorize the former Catal leader's extradition is due to be made soon.

    READ MORE: Spain's Court Rejects Puigdemont’s Appeal Over Catalan Leader Election Law

    In April and May, the German prosecutors announced their plans to extradite Puigdemont to Spain for rebellion and misuse of public funds during Catalonia's independence campaign. However, a German court then ruled to release Puigdemont on bail.

    The court decided that extradition of the ex-Catalan leader 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.

    In late October, Puigdemont left Spain for Belgium, where he was arrested under an EU warrant. However, a Spanish judge subsequently canceled the warrant until the investigation into Puigdemont is completed. The arrest warrant was renewed on March 23, after which the Catalan politician was detained in Germany as he was traveling back to Belgium by car from Finland.

    The Catalan government and parliament were dissolved by the Spanish central government after the October 1 independence referendum, and the adoption of a resolution on Catalonia's independence from Spain by the regional authorities.


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    extradition, Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia, Germany, Spain