Ex-Catalan minister will fight extradition to Spain from Scotland-lawyer

The legal team for exiled former Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont is hunkering down for a long legal battle in Germany as courts begin considering a Spanish extradition request for the separatist leader.

In denying him bail, the court said Mr Puigdemont posed a flight risk, concluding that he had "a strong incentive" to try to travel to Belgium where his potentially has a greater chance of avoiding extradition.

The detention came after the Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llanera on Friday reactivated a European detention order for Puigdemont and six other leading Catalan separatists for the charges related to the Catalan independence referendum of October 1, 2017 and the unilateral declaration of independence on October 27 past year.

Puigdemont was arrested on the entry of Germany from Denmark on Sunday, and he was on his way to Brussels.

Puigdemont has been in exile in Belgium since a year ago, when he fled Spain after declaring Catalonia's unilateral independence from Spain following a regional referendum deemed illegal by Madrid.

In the meantime, Puigdemont was free to make trips to Denmark, Switzerland and Finland, in an effort to gain global support for the secessionist movement. Spain has also issued five warrants for other separatists who fled the country. Spanish prosecutors have sought to charge Puigdemont with sedition and rebellion.

After the European arrest warrant was issued on Friday, a wave of protests erupted in the region.

Shortly after Puigdemont's arrest in Germany, Torrent denounced that "the time is serious", stressing its "clear exceptionality". It calls for prison sentences for anyone who "undertakes, by force or through the threat of force" to undermine the existence of the republic or change the constitutional order. He didn't identify them.

However, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin that "Spain is a democratic state of law".

  • Kyle Peterson