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Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont arrested by German police


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Catalan’s separatist former leader, Carles Puigdemont, has been detained by German police under a European arrest warrant.

 

Puigdemont, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels since October, was travelling by car from Finland to Belgium when he was detained on Sunday.

 

The arrest follows the Spanish government’s decision to reactivat an international arrest warrant for the Catalan leader on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

 

German media reports the arrest was made following a tip-off from Spain’s intelligence agency to German federal police.

 

“The flight of the coup plotter has come to an end,” said Albert Rivera, leader of Spain’s centre-right Citizens party, according to The Guardian. “There can be no impunity for those who try to destroy European democracy, flout democratic laws, destroy people’s coexistence and misuse public funds.”

 

But Elsa Artadi, a spokeswoman for the Together for Catalonia party, tweeted: “There is no guarantee of justice in Spain, only revenge and repression.”

 

German authorities now have 60 days to decide whether to extradite Puigdemont to Spain, where he could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of organising the illegal referendum, which precipitated Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence in October.

 

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