Spain withdraws European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont

ROBIN TOWNSEND

Former Catalan Regional President Carles Puigdemont (C) attends a rally in the town of Amer, in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, 13 November 2016, in support of a total of 407 Catalonian pro-independence public officials-elect investigated by Spanish courts.

Spain withdraws European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont


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Spain’s Supreme Court retracted a European Arrest Warrant for the arrest of the former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

The withdrawal of the arrest warrant comes after a German tribunal accepted the extradition of Puigdemont, but not on charges of rebellion.

A German court ruled on July 12 that fugitive Puigdemont should be extradited to Spain to face corruption charges. However, the scope of the extradition means that the former Catalan president will only stand trial on charges that he misused Spanish tax-payers funds to carry out the illegal referendum in October 2017.

German law stipulates that a person can be extradited if the arrest warrant refers to charges that are punishable in Germany. In Germany “rebellion” per se is not an offence, while “high treason” entails instigation of violence, which was not Puigdemont’s intention.

Six members of the former Puigdemont cabinet are in jail on rebellion charges but this is the second time Spain revokes a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont.

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