New setback for the Spanish justice system. The higher regional court of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany has today decided to extradite Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to Spain on charges of alleged misuse of public funds, but not for alleged rebellion or sedition. That means that, if it goes ahead, he cannot face trial in Spain for the more serious charges Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena had brought against him.
Puigdemont can now appeal the decision. Meanwhile, he remains free on the same conditions as previously. He will only eventually be extradited if German prosecutors give the go ahead.
The court argues that the facts reported by the Spanish judge don’t meet the definition in German law of the crime of high treason, the closest equivalent to the Spanish crime of rebellion, because they maintain there was no violence. That said, the German court had also asked for a report from former Spanish treasury minister Cristóbal Montoro on the question of misuse of public funds. The former minister had said in April that the Catalan government didn’t spend “even one euro” on the referendum.
Spain’s Supreme Court has previously announced that it will reject Puigdemont’s extradition if it is granted only for misuse of public funds.