A German court ruled yesterday that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont could be extradited to Spain for alleged misuse of public funds, but it rejected a request to send him back to answer a more serious charge of rebellion.
Puigdemont fled to Brussels after Spanish courts issued a warrant for his arrest over his role in Catalonia's declaration of independence last October. This was illegal under Spain's constitution, according to Spanish law.
A source in Puigdemont's legal team said the former Catalan leader would appeal a decision to extradite him from Germany on any charge. If extradited for misuse of funds, Puigdemont could not be tried for rebellion in Spain.
A spokeswoman for the Schleswig Holstein court said: "The court decided this morning that an extradition due to the accusation of misuse of public funds is permissible."
Responding to the court decision, German prosecutors said they would soon decide whether to authorise the extradition of Puigdemont, who was arrested in March while travelling through Germany.
The German court decision comes after Spain's new Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met with the new pro-independence Catalan leader Quim Torra on Tuesday in a move aimed at easing tensions between Barcelona and Madrid.