German court decides jailed Catalan ex-president to be released on bail

nsnbc : Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia, must remain in Germany until his extradition trial. However, the State Court of Schleswig Holstein in Schleswig city announced that Puigdemont can be released on bail provided that he deposits €75,000 equivalent to appr. $92,000.



The court’s announcement was made b court spokeswoman Frauka Holmer who said after a hearing on Thursday that Carles Puigdemont must pay  to be released on bail.  Puigdemont has been held at a detention center in the northern German city of Neumuenster since March 25. It was not immediately clear if he had made bail.

The ex-Catalan (some say ousted Catalan) president cannot leave Germany without permission from the prosecutor, report to police weekly, and inform the state of any changes of residence. It is not immediately clear whether Puigdemont can travel freely in Germany or if he must remain in the federal State of Schleswig Holstein.

Spain sought for Germany to extradite Puigdemont on charges of rebellion and the misuse of public funds. The court ruled it will consider his extradition on the second charge, but rebellion is not punishable under German law, noting that the Catalan independence declaration was not violent.

After five months on the run from federal Spanish authorities in northern Europe, Puigdemont was detained while crossing from Denmark into Germany with the help of Spanish intelligence services. His arrest sparked outrage and protests in Barcelona.

"I went to vote and look what that nice police officer from Madrid gave me, isn't that pretty?"

“I went to vote and look what that nice police officer from Madrid gave me, isn’t that pretty?”

Catalonia’s independence bid was met by overwhelming foreign opposition and support for the federal Spanish government including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to take necessary measures permitted under the constitution to prevent the separation.

Puigdemont opted for the presidency not to declare independence; instead, the regional parliament put the declaration to an anonymous vote in a plenary session. It passed with 70 of 135 MPs in favor (53 boycotted, 10 voted against and 2 abstained) on Saturday.

Catalonia held a referendum on October 1, 2017 in which 92 percent of ballots reportedly indicated ‘Yes’ for independence. Turnout was low with 43 percent of registered voters participating. Many ‘No’ voters boycotted. However, many yes voters said they were prevented from voting due to police violence and intimidation. Videos showed some ballot boxes being seized by Spanish police and federal police manhandling senior citizens who went to vote.

CH/L – nsnbc 06.04.2018

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