The Spanish judge presiding over charges against Catalan separatist leaders has quashed the arrest warrant for former Generalitat president Carles Puigdemont.
Pablo Llarena, the Supreme Court magistrate hearing cases related to the push for Catalonia’s independence, took the action on Thursday July 19. This came after a German court dealing with an extradition request for Puigdemont said it would not hand him over to Spain on rebellion charges.
Puigdemont was liable only only for the crime of misuse of public funds, it found (Europa Press, in Spanish).
Charges against six other Catalan separatists and associates of Puigdemont remain, meaning they still face arrest if they return to Spain (BBC).
The Schleswig-Holstein court accepted that Mr Puigdemont could be extradited for the charge of misusing public funds, but not for rebellion or sedition. The judges said the Spanish charge of rebellion is not recognised in its jurisdiction.
Judge Llarena denounced “lack of commitment” of the German court in pursuing the fugitives (ABC / AP), wanted for actions that could have broken the Spanish constitutional order, as mentioned in the Court’s rejection document.
Facing arrest in Spain, Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium last October and then moved on to Germany, where, on bail, he has been fighting extradition.
The other Catalan separatists wanted in Spain are Antonio Comín, Luis Puig, Meritxell Serret, Marta Rovira and Clara Ponsatí, who was arrested by Scottish police in March (BBC).
Several other top Puigdemont aides have been jailed in Spain pending trial.
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