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Spanish judiciary praised by king Felipe VI amidst controversy

As Spanish king commended the independence of Spain's judges, the judiciary comes under fire

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09 April 2018 08:12 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

In his first visit to Barcelona since the Mobile World Congress, the Spanish King Felipe VI praised the independence of Spanish judges. This at a moment when the judiciary is coming under fire, after a German court released Carles Puigdemont on bail and rejected charges of rebellion.

The king addressed young judges in the Catalan capital. Just like last time, protesters greeted his arrival, some of them calling for the deposed president Puigdemont to be sworn in once again.

Puigdemont’s detention and subsequent release have put him at the forefront of Catalan politics once more. While a final decision on his extradition to Spain is yet to be made, his release is not to the liking of Spanish government officials.

Meanwhile in Germany, the justice minister, a social democrat, referred to the court’s decision as “absolutely right.” Katarina Barley’s counterpart in Madrid disapproved of the comments.

In a letter to the European Parliament, Esteban González Pons warns "something is not working” if a local German judge can overrule Spain’s Supreme Court.

“If this warrant doesn't work, Schengen leave us defenseless against those criminals and their crimes. This is probably one of the greatest dangers for the Union,"González Pons said at a national convention of Spain’s ruling People’s Party.

The vice-president of the SPD in the Bundestag warned on Monday that Germany should consider whether the European Arrest Warrant guarantees democratic principles in other countries, citing Poland, Turkey, and Spain as examples.

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  • Spanish king Felipe VI alongside Rafael Catala in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • Spanish king Felipe VI alongside Rafael Catala in Barcelona (by ACN)