Germany praises bail decision for ex-Catalan leader

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Germany praises bail decision for ex-Catalan leader
Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont gives a press statement after he was released on bail from the prison in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Friday, April 6, 2018. (Axel Heimken/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s justice minister has applauded a court’s decision to free former Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont on bail, two weeks after his arrest in Germany.

Katarina Barley told daily Sueddeutsche on Saturday the judges’ decision was “absolutely right” and what she’d expected.

Spain is seeking Puigdemont’s extradition for rebellion and misuse of public funds in organizing an unauthorized referendum last year on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.

The German court decided the charge of rebellion did not warrant extradition, because the accusation isn’t punishable under German law. Puigdemont can still be extradited on the less serious charge of misuse of funds.

Barley said it was now up to Spain to prove their embezzlement charges against Puigdemont, which she said “won’t be easy.”