German police detain former Catalan president

Saul Bowman
March 26, 2018

Separatists hold a majority in the regional parliament in the wake of elections in December. The ex-head of Catalonia is now being held at a police station.

In Barcelona, riot police shoved and struck protesters with batons to keep an angry crowd from advancing on the office of the Spanish government's representative.

The Spanish Supreme Court had issued an global arrest warrant against Puigdemont a year ago but withdrew it in December to avoid the risk of Belgian authorities granting him asylum.

Police detained former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont as he crossed into Germany from Denmark by auto, bringing his eventual return to Spain to face trial a step nearer.

German magazine Focus said Spanish intelligence informed the BKA federal police that Puigdemont was on his way from Finland to Germany.

Berlin faces a political dilemma with uncomfortable historical overtones after the arrest on Sunday morning.

Puigdemont is wanted in Spain on charges of rebellion and sedition arising from his role in organizing an October referendum on Catalan independence.

Judge Pablo Llarena charged 13 Catalans with rebellion, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Catalonia will remain under direct rule by Madrid as long as it fails to form a new government.

The post Thousands Protest In Barcelona After Puigdemont's Arrest appeared first on Channels Television. Spain could demand his extradition under the terms of a European treaty.

A pro-independence demonstrator holds a poster with

On Saturday, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation said it had received the warrant for Mr. Puigdemont's detention issued by Spain.

Later in the day Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas confirmed that his client had left Finland to Belgium and once there he would make "himself available to the Belgian justice and police". I will not quit. The decision of the district court is expected on Monday.

"We are going to continue to resist and fight to be free", said Julio Vallmitjana, a bearded 64-year-old pensioner who wore his white hair in a pony tail and stood a bit apart from the crowd.

German police said in a statement that Puigdemont was arrested in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein. He added: "we had information that he would be in Germany or would enter Germany".

The ex-politician is reportedly being held in a prison in the town of Neumünster, an hour north of Hamburg. Their detention sparked protests across Catalonia.

Tensions are running high in Catalonia, as separatists abandoned plans to name a new president following the arrest of the latest candidate, Jordi Turull.

But she said that Scottish officials must follow extradition laws, and that the independence of the legal system must be respected despite the government's political views.

"I will not throw in the towel. I will not give up in the face of the illegitimate behavior of those who lost at the ballot box", he said.

That message was in contrast to the one he had communicated privately to a colleague in messages that were captured by a TV camera and that acknowledged that the Spanish Government's crackdown "has won".

Under the rules of the EWA, active since 2004, a court in one European Union member state can only extradite a person sought by another member state if they are confident the suspect will face equivalent fair legal procedures and trial.


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