German court refers ultimate decision on Puigdemont extradition to higher court

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The latest court finding on the extradition to Spain of Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president is to refer it upstairs, to a senior state (Land) body. Catalan publication El Nacional reports that the higher court will decide by the end of June.

Puigdemont was arrested in Germany during his journey to Belgium from a conference in Finland in late March, after Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him.

Since then, the lower German court has twice rejected the rebellion charges against him that were brought by Spanish judiciary (Ara). The court also rejected the corruption charge, but referred the case to a higher authority. A third category submitted by Spain, of misusing public funds, has yet to be decided.

Federal prosecutors said on June 1 they had applied to a higher regional court to have Carles Puigdemont extradited.

In a statement, the Schleswig-Holstein court said that “there have been no significant changes, neither in the context of the indictment nor in the evidence provided, that advise a different recommendation” from the original position adopted by the same court on April 5.

The court argued that the nearest German equivalent, high treason, was not applicable as Puigdemont had not caused or instigated violence (DW).

However, the court said that extradition might be possible on the lesser charge of misuse of public funds.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium in October 2017 to avoid charges after the Catalan parliament declared independence following a referendum deemed illegal by Madrid.

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        This is the original para and key word seems to be suggested. German court of Schleswig-Holstein has suggested that there are no grounds to accept the extradition to Spain of Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president. (Ara) 

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