German Court Orders Puigdemont To Stay In Custody Pending Spain Demand

Carles Puigdemont: What happens now

Spain has charged Puigdemont with the crime of rebellion against the state-which carries a term of up to 25 years in prison-as well as for the misappropriation of public funds.

Pro-independence protesters began blocking roadways before dawn on Tuesday, expressing their anger at the recent arrest of Puigdemont in Germany and the jailing of other leaders.

According to his lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, he was on his way to Belgium, where he fled after Spanish authorities moved to impose direct rule over Catalonia. Tens of thousands protested late Sunday in Barcelona and other Catalan towns, and some demonstrators clashed with riot police.

The state court in Schleswig will decide at a later date whether to put Puigdemont in formal pre-extradition custody on the basis of documents provided by Spain.

German police arrested Puigdemont on Sunday, after he crossed the border from Denmark, under a European warrant issued by Spain. Angela Merkel's new government in Berlin, just up and running after a six-month limbo since the general election, doesn't need a high-profile detainee on its hands.

Spain's central government should not "sing victory because it is not the end of separatism, far from it", she added.

After meeting with independence parties, Roger Torrent, the Catalan speaker, tabled a special session for tomorrow morning to plot a path to an inauguration.

"Puigdemont knew that fracturing Catalan society into two parts, spending public money on illegal activities, provoking a political and institutional crisis without precedents and confronting a 21st-century democracy of the European Union was going to have consequences", he said.

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The court in northern Germany turned down a request from Puigdemont's legal team for him to be released pending the extradition decision by German authorities.

Twelve more face less serious charges like disobedience.

Issuing the warrant for Puigdemont on Friday, Judge Pablo Llarena accused the ousted Catalan leader of organising an independence referendum in October a year ago despite a ban from Madrid and the risk of violence.

The vote had been swiftly followed by the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence on October 27.

In Scotland, where authorities have received an extradition request for Clara Ponsati, one of the cabinet members in exile, the SNP said it would complain to the Council of Europe over the cases.

"Spain does not guarantee a fair trial; only revenge and repression", she wrote on Twitter.

Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia, is set to spend Easter in a jail in northern Germany.

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