German court releases Carles Puigdemont on bail

The court rejected 'rebellion' as grounds to extradite Catalonia's former leader, but said he could still face corruption charges in Spain

A German court has rejected “rebellion” as grounds to extradite Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont, and so released him on bail. 

The Schleswig-Holstein court in northern Germany set bail for the 55-year-old at at €75,000. They said he could still face corruption charges in Spain, and has only suspended extradition, not ruling it out.

He was arrested in the north German region last month, after Spain issued a European Arrest Warrant.

Spain charged top Catalan separatists over October's independence referendum.

The court has been considering what to do about a Spanish extradition request for Puigdemont for more than a week.

“There is a risk of flight,” the court said in its explanation of its decision to grant bail. “But since extradition on rebellion charges is impermissible, the risk of flight is substantially lessened.”

Puigdemont faces charges of sedition, rebellion and misappropriation of public funds in Spain as a result of his role in last year's Catalan banned independence referendum.

He has written an open letter from prison, urging Catalonia’s parliament to make another attempt to elect jailed separatist activist Jordi Sànchez as the region’s president.

The Spanish government said it respected the decision of the German court.

"The government never gives an opinion on court decisions, especially when it concerns court decisions made in another country. It always respects them, whether it likes them or not," a government spokeswoman said.

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