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German prosecutors file for extradition of ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont

  • Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont faces charges of rebellion in Spain over Catalonia's campaign for independence.
  • Puigdemont has been held in a detention center in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week.
Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont attends a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.
Pau Barrena | AFP | Getty Images
Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont attends a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.

German prosecutors filed a request to a regional court on Tuesday for the extradition of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to Spain, where he faces charges of rebellion over the region's campaign for independence.

Puigdemont has been held in a detention center in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week after he was arrested in Germany on March 25.

Prosecutors in the state of Schleswig-Holstein said Spain's extradition request was admissible because accusations of rebellion included carrying out an anti-constitutional referendum even though violent clashes could be expected.

"This has a comparable equivalent in German law," said the prosecutors in a statement.

Prosecutors also asked the Higher Regional Court in Schleswig-Holstein, which will decide on the extradition, to keep Puigdemont in prison during the proceedings because there was a danger he would try to escape.

Puigdemont fled Spain five months ago for Belgium after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed his regional administration and imposed direct rule from Madrid.

The charges he faces over the organizing of an illegal secession referendum could lead to 25 years behind bars.

It is unclear when the German court will make its decision.