Former Catalan leader Puigdemont arrested in Germany at Spain's request

Carles Puigdemont

German police arrest former Catalan leader

Catalonian riot police members and protesters clash during a protest against the detention in Germany of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, at the Spanish Government Delegation in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, on Sunday.

Puigdemont was arrested Sunday by German police on an worldwide warrant as he tried to enter the country from Denmark.

The Schleswig prosecutor's office said "the question of whether Mr Puigdemont has to be taken into extradition custody, will then have to be determined by the higher regional court in Schleswig".

Spain's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that 25 Catalan leaders would be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state.

On Friday the Spanish government reactivated an global arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is wanted on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

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German state prosecutors say they are checking for how long Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont can remain in police custody following his detention on a European warrant as he entered the country from Denmark.

Thousands answered the call by a pro-independence grassroots group to protest in the city center hours after Puigdemont was detained by German police.

The charges he faces in Spain could result in 30 years in prison.

A Spanish judge reactivated an global warrant for Puigdemont and five other fugitive separatist leaders from northeastern Spain on Friday.

Police intercepted Puigdemont near the Danish border when he was returning to Belgium.

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Spain had originally asked for Puigdemont's extradition from Belgium after he moved there, but later withdrew the request until judge Pablo Llarena concluded his investigation this week. He was in Finland at the time, promoting the cause of independence for Catalan.

Carles Puigdemont had been visiting Finland since Thursday, but slipped out of the Nordic country before Finnish police could detain him.

"The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgium justice", Pique said.

Puigdemont faces up to 25 years in prison in Spain on charges of rebellion and sedition for organising an illegal referendum for Catalonia that led to a unilateral declaration of independence in October.

Puigdemont supported a referendum in October seeking the independence of Catalonia from Spain. Three people have also been arrested.

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We recall that the Supreme Court of Spain issued a European arrest warrant for the former chairman of the Catalan government and four other politicians who left Spain.

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