Fugitive ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested by German cops

Demonstrations against the arrest of the ex-leader of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, who was detained in Germany today, are taking place in Spain, reports AFP.

Rivera wrote on his Twitter account: "Trying to destroy a European democracy, ignoring the laws of democracy, shattering our harmonious co-existence and embezzling public funds to do so can't go unpunished, Justice has done its job".

Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont: "I will not throw in the towel".

They said "Mr. Puigdemont is now in police custody" and refused to give further details.

Current mayor of Gerona and candidate for the Catalan Government's presidency Carles Puigdemont speaks during an investiture debate for the Catalan Government's presidency, at the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona on January 10, 2016.

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A Spanish Supreme Court judge reactivated an worldwide arrest warrant for Puigdemont on Friday when he was visiting Finland.

The crime of rebellion carries a maximum sentence of 30 years' imprisonment, while sedition carries a 15-year penalty.

"They want to bury us but each time they hit us, four new separatists arise". Twelve more face less serious charges like disobedience.

Spain's supreme court announced Friday it would prosecute 13 Catalan separatists for "rebellion" including Puigdemont, for their role in the region's failed bid to break away from Madrid previous year.

Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium hours before Spain's attorney general asked for charges to be brought against him and other members of his cabinet.

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Doepper said authorities had been tipped off that Puigdemont would be entering Germany, and multiple German media outlets reported that Spanish intelligence had been used to snare the ardent Catalan nationalist.

He had been visiting Finland since Thursday, but slipped out of the Nordic country before Finnish police could detain him on the warrant issued Friday.

Puigdemont himself had said from Belgium in early March that he was abandoning his bid to return as regional president, even though he had run in December's polls from overseas. That's according to his lawyer.

Puidgemont could take his case to Germany's highest court, which had in 2005 blocked the extradition to Spain on an European Union arrest warrant of a German-Syrian al-Qaeda suspect.

Elsa Artadi, a spokeswoman for Puigdemont's Together for Catalonia party, said that he should fight his extradition to Spain as she argued that he would not get a fair trial in the country.

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Hardcore separatists, the radical Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), called a protest against Puigdemont's arrest. Puigdemont was arrested Sunday by German police on an global warrant as he tried to enter the country from Denmark. "The flight of the coup-monger Puigdemont is over", he said in a verified tweet. Trying to destroy a European democracy, bypassing democratic laws, breaking up coexistence or misusing public money can not enjoy impunity. Elections held in the region in December produced a slim majority for the separatist bloc but Puigdemont was unable to return to try to form a government because he faced arrest if he set foot back in Spain.


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