Former Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested in Germany

EPA-EFE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Former Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested in Germany


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German police have detained the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on a European arrest warrant.

Puigdemont had entered Germany from Denmark after leaving Finland on Friday when it appeared police would arrest him there and launch an extradition process requested by Spain.

The former Catalan regional president was en route to Belgium where he has been living in self-imposed exile since late last year.

Puigdemont faces up to 25 years in prison in Spain on charges of rebellion and sedition for organising an illegal referendum for Catalonia that led to a unilateral declaration of independence in October.

Tensions in Catalonia are very high and its separatist leaders abandoned plans to name a new president following the arrest of the latest candidate, Jordi Turull, on Friday.

Crowds of protesters had clashed with police in Barcelona on Friday night after Spain’s Supreme Court ruled 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state. Jordi Turull was among five people taken into custody in fresh arrests.

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