Former Catalan president, wanted by Spain, is granted bail by German court

Former Catalan president, wanted by Spain, is granted bail by German court

Former Catalan president, wanted by Spain, is granted bail by German court

Puigdemont had been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels after the Catalan Parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October.

German police arrested Puigdemont in March while he was crossing into the country from Denmark on his way from Finland to Belgium.

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 ruling means Mr Puigdemont, who fled Spain five months ago for Belgium after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed his regional administration, can not be tried for rebellion in Spain once extradited on the lesser charge, a German court spokeswoman said.

The General Prosecutor's Office backed last Tuesday the extradition request issued by the Supreme Court of Spain for the charges of rebellion and embezzlement of public funds.

Extradition proceedings on the corruption charges will continue.

This is a developing story.

A court in the northern town of Schleswig set bail at €75,000 (£65,500).

German prosecutors argued earlier this week that the main charge of rebellion is equivalent to Germany's criminal offense of treason.

"That is not the case here", the court said in a statement.

The Spanish government said on Thursday night that it respected the court's ruling on Mr Puigdemont's extradition.

A Spanish judge yesterday formally charged the former chief of Catalonia's regional police force with sedition over his alleged role in the wealthy region's independence push.

The Spanish government's quelling of the October 1 independence referendum drew worldwide condemnation and outrage, with footage of national police officers and members of the Civil Guardia seizing ballot boxes and violently dispersing voters going viral on social media.

The judge also slapped sedition charges on two other top officials with the regional police force, as well as an official with the Catalan interior ministry.

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