Puigdemont Labeled Flight Risk by German Authorities

The former president of the Catalonia region was on Sunday detained as he attempted to cross the German border after a European arrest warrant was issued by Spain where he faces charges of rebellion and sedition German police confirmed. ARCHIVE FOOTAGE

The former president of the Catalonia region was on Sunday detained as he attempted to cross the German border after a European arrest warrant was issued by Spain where he faces charges of rebellion and sedition German police confirmed. ARCHIVE FOOTAGE

Debate meanwhile raged at home and across Europe over Spain's crackdown on independence leaders, which saw 13 formally charged with rebellion and other crimes last Friday.

Mr Puigdemont's arrested in Germany over the weekend sparked protests across the Spanish region of Catalonia. Following the charges, Puigdemont escaped to Belgium, as he said he would never receive a "fair trial" in Spain and refused to "abandon our (their) political project" due to the government.

About 90 people were slightly injured during the protests in Barcelona, including 22 police officers, emergency services said. Puigdemont is facing charges of rebellion and sedition in Spain and was intercepted on the A7 highway that connects Germany and Denmark, two days after Spain renewed the worldwide arrest order.

Mr Puigdemont yesterday appeared in court in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where he was detained by police on Sunday and later sent to Neumunster prison.

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Spain's central government should not "sing victory because it is not the end of separatism, far from it", she added.

The registration means that the Spanish government has now six months to respond with any information or observations to the human rights body.

Spain has to clarify its legal case against Puigdemont, after which German courts will have to decide if the accusations are sufficient to justify extradition.

Roger Torrent, the pro-independence speaker of the Catalan Parliament, tweeted on Sunday urging Catalans to form "a common front" in the interest of individual and collective rights.

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Mr Putin was re-elected by a landslide, with more than 76% of the vote, for a fourth six-year term. He added that the "fake news media" is crazed because they wanted him to excoriate Putin.

"Puigdemont knew that fracturing Catalan society into two parts, spending public money on illegal activities, provoking a political and institutional crisis without precedents and confronting a 21st-century democracy of the European Union was going to have consequences", he said.

The court said they would be prosecuted for "rebellion", a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Spain originally asked for Puigdemont's extradition from Belgium after he fled there in October, but later withdrew the request until Spanish Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena concluded his investigation last week.

That vote had been swiftly followed by the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence on October 27.

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Photos on social media that Reuters could not independently verify showed a burnt out auto and smoke at the site of the blast. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the casualties were taken to a military hospital in the Mediterranean city.

More than 50,000 demonstrators subsequently clashed with Spanish police in Barcelona, demanding that Berlin release Puigdemont and refuse to extradite him. The third candidate, Turull, was placed in custody on Friday.

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