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Spain drops international warrants for Catalan separatists

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Staff Writer |
Carles Puigdemont
Europe   The move came in response to Germany’s decision to extradite Puigdemont

Spain’s Supreme Court on Thursday dropped international arrest warrants for former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and five other separatist politicians who fled abroad after a botched independence attempt in Catalonia last year.

The move came in response to Germany’s decision to extradite Puigdemont to Spain on the charge of misusing public funds, but not on the most serious charges of rebellion and sedition. Germany rejected the rebellion charge because it requires an element of violence.

In the Spanish court decision, presiding judge Pablo Llarena decried the German court’s “lack of commitment” and said it acted without understanding that the trial was ongoing.

With the arrest warrants dropped, the Catalan politicians, who are now located in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Scotland, are now able to move freely in Europe. However, they all face arrest if they return to Spain.

Several of the Catalan politicians involved with organizing an independence referendum and the subsequent declaration independence who did not leave the country are in Spanish prisons pending trial.


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