Catalonia's ex-leader appears before judge in Germany

Felipe VI and Queen Letizia during a protest in Barcelona 23 March 2018

Around 25 Catalonian independence supporters have been charged, including the country's former leader Carles Puigdemont who will appear in a German court later today (Monday 26).

The court said, however, that there questions about the ultimate outcome of the Spanish extradition request.

The detention came after the Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llanera on Friday reactivated a European detention order for Puigdemont and six other leading Catalan separatists for the charges related to the Catalan independence referendum of October 1, 2017 and the unilateral declaration of independence on October 27 past year.

German police stopped Puigdemont after he crossed the border by vehicle from Denmark on his way back to Belgium from Finland, his lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas tweeted.

Puigdemont was arrested after he crossed from Denmark into Germany on his way to Belgium where he fled after the Spanish national government imposed direct rule over Catalonia after Catalonia's leaders declared independence on October 27, 2017.

The global arrest warrant for Puigdemont was reactivated on Friday, when he was visiting Finland.

The worldwide arrest warrant for Puigdemont was reactivated Friday when he was visiting Finland.

German Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth said Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office was informed Friday about the arrest warrant and, in parallel, the office's liaison officer in Madrid was informed that Puigdemont might enter the country. The judge also ordered five other Catalan officials to be detained without bail. Spanish prosecutors have sought to charge Puigdemont with sedition and rebellion.

Shortly after Puigdemont's arrest in Germany, Torrent denounced that "the time is serious", stressing its "clear exceptionality".

Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer thinks his client will be released soon under conditions.

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