German prosecutors request Puigdemont's extradition

German prosecutors request Puigdemont's extradition

German prosecutors request Puigdemont's extradition

Germany's legal system on Tuesday took another step toward sending Catalan secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont back to Spain to face trial, as prosecutors filed an extradition request in a regional court.

A spokesperson for the Schleswig-Holstein state prosecution office further told press that they had received documents from Spain suggesting the illicit use of 1.6 million euros (1.97 million USA dollars) in public funds to stage the Catalonian independence referendum. "This has a comparable equivalent in German law", a statement from prosecutors declared.

The ousted Catalan president was arrested last month in Germany as he crossed into the country by auto. Puigdemont has already appealed charges of "rebellion" and embezzlement at the Spanish supreme court.

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Carrying out of referendum was "in principle not punishable", Puigdemont's lawyers Wolfgang Schomburg and Soeren Schomburg said in an emailed statement.

Schleswig-Holstein's Higher Regional Court will now decide whether to grant the extradition request. No date for the decision was announced and Puigdemont will stay in jail for now. Puigdemont will remain in custody until a ruling is returned. Asked about the decision at a news conference in Algiers, Rajoy said Spain would respect the decision of German courts.

Puigdemont has been held in a detention center in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week after he was arrested in Germany on March 25.

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It also argues that there were several procedural violations made in the case against the three politicians, including that they were not allowed to defend themselves until the indictment against them was issued on March 23. He also appealed against the charge of mis-use of public funds.

The Spanish court aims to try a total of 25 Catalan leaders for rebellion and other charges.

The former Catalan leader was arrested late last month, while driving into Germany from Denmark.

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The Catalans say they will not get a fair trial in Spain and are being prosecuted for their political beliefs.

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