Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

Puigdemont awaits German extradition decision

  • Pro-Catalan protesters in Berlin at the weekend (Photo: Montecruz Foto)

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont could hear this week whether it is likely that he will be extradited to Spain, German media reported on Tuesday (3 April).

The DPA news agency said that the prosecutor general in Schleswig-Holstein was expected to announce this week if it would ask the state's high court if Puigdemont should be imprisoned while it decides on extradition.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Spanish agency EFE quoted the deputy prosecutor general saying the decision could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

Puigdemont was arrested in Germany last month, after being in self-imposed exile in Belgium for almost six months. That arrest was under a European arrest warrant, which gives the fellow EU country up to sixty days to decide on extradition.

Spanish authorities want Puigdemont for trial over his calling of the 1 October 2017 referendum on Catalan independence, which Spain's highest court had ruled to be illegal. Following the vote, which was marred with police violence, the Catalan parliament declared independence.

Puigdemont spoke from prison to two far left German MPs over the weekend. A recording of the conversation was given to Catalan public radio.

"As a message I would like to say that we have to go on, we have to go on the way we are, defending our rights, rights that are recognised by the UN as we have a total right to decide our future," Puigdemont reportedly said.

"We cannot let down our guard before a state that is becoming more and more authoritarian and that is curtailing our rights," he noted.

"Let's go on doing things the way we do them, which is non-violent and civilised as we have shown the world in the past years. That is how Catalans do things."

The same day, the German branch of the Catalan National Assembly organised a protest in Berlin, calling for Puigdemont's release.

Meanwhile, the leading Spanish newspaper El Pais said in an opinion piece published on Monday that Germany should extradite Puigdemont, lumping pro-independence Catalans together with populist anti-EU forces.

"Catalan secessionists are no different from Nigel Farage's Brexiters, Marine Le Pen's National Front supporters, Italy's Lega Nord or Germany's AFD," wrote Jose Torreblanca.

"They want to exclude those whom they see as different, poorer and inferior to them and not pay taxes to the common treasury," he added.

The author also pointed out that European institutions have not reprimanded Spain for breaking the rule of law or infringing minority rights.

"But should they, Spain would abide by their decision and act to fix their instructions. Which is why it makes sense for German courts to extradite Puigdemont and for the German public to support the move," he noted.

Germany detains Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont

German authorities may extradite former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain where he faces up to 25 years in jail following charges of sedition and rebellion by the Madrid government.

Puigdemont ghost hangs over Catalan vote

The Catalan parliament is due to elect the president of the regional government, amid uncertainties over the whereabouts and strategy of the self-exiled separatist leader.

Catalan separatists mull 'symbolic' presidency

Catalan separatists leaders are discussing a plan that would allow their exiled leader keep influence in the region - even if he cannot be elected president of the government.

Opinion

Free movement threatened if European arrest warrant abused

Selecting in which country to execute a European Arrest Warrant - as Spain appears to have done in the Puigdemont case - sets worrying precedents as EU states such as Poland and Hungary diverge from the rule of law.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us