Ex-Catalan leader freed on bail by German court

German Court Orders Release of Ex Catalan Leader Puigdemont on Bail

The offence of rebellion has been ruled out by a German court in relation to Spain's extradition request against Catalonia's former prime minister Carles Puigdemont.

The district court in Schleswig on Thursday set bail for the 55-year-old at €75,000 (£66,000), as reported by The Guardian.

He was arrested after entering Germany on his way back from Finland to Belgium, where he had been living in self-imposed exile after fleeing Spain five months ago.

Spain's Supreme Court reactivated worldwide arrest warrants last month for Puigdemont and four other Catalan politicians who went into self-imposed exile previous year.

"If that is the case, and Mr Puidgemont can be extradited for embezzlement of public money, then a prosecution for rebellion is not possible".

"The actions for which the subject is being prosecuted would not be criminal under German law", the court spokeswoman said. They said that there was no indication he could be "exposed to the danger of political persecution".

The Schleswig-Holstein court said he could still face corruption charges in Spain, and it has only suspended extradition - not ruled it out. He has been ordered to stay in Germany while extradition proceedings continue. Puigdemont was imprisoned in Neumünster after being arrested at his entry to Germany through the border with Denmark, following an order given by the court of that city to keep him in prison and avoid his escape.

"Truth to be told, we didn't expect it", she said.

The separatists' maneuvers come after a string of setbacks for their ambitions since October, with Spanish courts blocking moves toward independence and bringing charges against the movement's leaders. Two other members of the regional police and an official with the regional interior department were also indicted.

Trapero was hailed in Catalonia as a local hero for the handling of deadly extremist attacks in and near Barcelona last summer.

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