Ex-Catalan president Puigdemont detained in Germany

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont during a debate at The Political Science Department at the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denamrk, on January 22. On Sunday, he was detained in Germany on an arrest warrant in Spain. Photo by Ricardo Ramirez/EPA

March 25 (UPI) — Former Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont has been detained by German police on an arrest warrant in Spain for sedition and rebellion.

Puigdemont was crossing from Denmark on the way to Belgium when he was detained by a highway patrol Sunday morning in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, German police said. He departed Finland on Friday after giving a speech at a university before authorities could arrest him on charges in Spain that could result in 30 years in prison.

Last fall, Spanish courts had sought to extradite Puigdemont from Belgium lbut withdrew their request.

On Friday, the Spanish Supreme Court asked officials in Finland to extradite him.

Since Catalonia’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October, he has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels, Belgium, after Catalonia’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October.

After a referendum in Catalonia, the central government in Madrid voided the Catalan regional government, imposed direct rule and called new elections. However, pro-independence parties returned with a slim majority.

On Friday, separatist leaders abandoned plans to name a new president after the arrest of a candidate, Jordi Turull, on Friday.

She was among five people taken into custody after Spain’s Supreme Court ruled 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state.


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