Puigdemont Can Be Detained During Extradition Case, Judge Says

Carles Puigdemont: What happens now

Sunday was also marked by violent protests in the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, where almost 100 people were treated for minor injuries following clashes between pro-separatists protesters and riot police.

Nearly its entire leadership is now either behind bars ahead of trial or in exile.

The Catalan parliament's declaration of independence in late October following an ad-hoc referendum banned by the Spanish government received no global recognition and provoked a takeover of the regional government by Spanish authorities. The Spanish government has six months to respond. Tens of thousands protested late Sunday in Barcelona and other Catalan towns, and some demonstrators clashed with riot police.

In Catalonia, the news of Puigdemont's arrest sparked immediate outrage as pro-independence groups occupied the streets of Barcelona, vandalising police vans and demanding Puigdemont's release.

People hold a large banner that reads in Catalan "Freedom for the political prisoners" in support of Catalonian politicians jailed on charges of sedition and condemning the arrest of Catalonia's former president, Carles Puigdemont in Germany, during a protest in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, March 26, 2018.

Madrid invoked special powers to take over the regional government after the Catalan administration declared independence in October.

The arrest follows a Spanish Supreme Court decision Friday to charge 13 Catalan separatist leaders with rebellion and other crimes for their attempt to declare independence from Spain a year ago.

The vote had been swiftly followed by the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence on October 27. "We expect a few more months of uncertainty, and most likely new elections to be called then".

More news: British Authorities Search Offices of Cambridge Analytica

The state court in Schleswig will decide at a later date whether to put Puigdemont in formal pre-extradition custody on the basis of documents provided by Spain.

Since Puigdemont has avoided being associated with violence, the court may have to block the extradition, he said.

German media initially reported that Puigdemont was considering applying for political asylum in Germany, a claim denied by his attorney on Monday.

Puigdemont was detained Sunday by German police on an worldwide warrant as he tried to enter the country from Denmark. The judge said the Spanish filing isn't invalid on its face, which would have required the court to set him free. The Spanish Supreme Court on Friday issued fresh arrest warrants against Puigdemont and some other individuals behind the independence bid.

Puigdemont was detained by German police in the north of the country, following a request by the Spanish police.

Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said that Madrid is confident that Puigdemont's extradition will be granted because the case, he said, is not politically motivated.

Ponsati's lawyer said on Monday she would contest her extradition and called it "political persecution". But rating agency Standard & Poor's last Friday upgraded its rating for Spain, reflecting a positive outlook for the economy and limited impact from Catalonia.

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