MADRID, SPAIN.- Spanish and German public prosecutors are planning to hold a discreet meeting in the next few hours in The Hague with the aim of exchanging information about the ousted Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont. They will be discussing whether it is possible to incorporate new evidence in order for Spain’s European arrest warrant against the politician for the offenses of rebellion and sedition to prosper.
Puigdemont fled from Spain late last year, after a unilateral declaration of independence was passed in the Catalan parliament. He initially took refuge in Belgium, but last month he was arrested in Germany after entering the country from Denmark.
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He was held in custody until a regional court in Schleswig-Holstein ruled that there was insufficient evidence to extradite Puigdemont for the offense of rebellion, despite the fact that German prosecutors supported this move.
He has been released on bail while the evidence against him for the lesser charge of misuse of public funds is examined.
According to legal sources, the meeting today will take place at the headquarters of Eurojust, the branch of the European Union that is in charge of strengthening juridical cooperation between member states.
At the meeting will be Spanish prosecutors involved in the Supreme Court case against Puigdemont, as well as counterparts from the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, where a regional court that is hierarchically on a lower rung that the Spanish Supreme Court has blocked the possibility of trying the former premier for rebellion.
At the meeting will be official representatives who are dealing with the investigative stage of the Supreme Court case against Puigdemont The aim of the meeting is to try to demonstrate to the German prosecutors that there is indeed sufficient evidence to justify Puigdemont’s extradition on rebellion and sedition charges. While the German prosecutors cannot file an appeal to overturn the decision made by the regional judge, there are two paths being explored.
One is for the German prosecutors to call on the SchleswigHolstein court to reconsider its decision on the basis of new evidence supplied by Spain. And the other is for the court, should it have doubts about what to do, to seek advice from the European Union Court of Justice. Spanish prosecutors will show the Germans proof and arguments relating to charges of rebellion and misuse of funds – the Interior Ministry has documented at least 300 violent acts during the disturbances connected to the pro-independence drive in Catalonia.