Former Catalan leader Puigdemont detained in Germany

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Former Catalan secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont was detained on Sunday in Germany by police acting on an international arrest warrant issued by Spain, his lawyer said.

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 lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, did not say exactly where Puigdemont was in custody in Germany. He said only that Puigdemont, the former Catalan regional president, had been 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 organizing an illegal referendum for Catalonia that led to a unilateral declaration of independence in October.

“The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgian justice,” Joan Maria Pique, Puigdemont’s spokesman, told Reuters.

On Friday Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena ruled that 25 Catalan separatist politicians would face charges of rebellion, embezzlement and disobeying the state for their roles in organizing the vote on secession.

 

Zainab Sa’id