Spain suggests extraditing Puigdemont for sedition instead of rebellion
Judge proposes alternative criminal charges to German court
The Spanish Supreme Court suggested that if Carles Puigdemont’s extradition on the grounds of rebellion for his role in Catalonia’s bid for independence were to be rejected, the German court handling his case could hand him over for the crime of sedition.
In a report sent to the Schleswig-Holstein court, judge Pablo Llarena presents the crime of sedition—carrying prison sentences of up to 15 years—as a less severe alternative to rebellion. Yet, he stresses that there is enough evidence to extradite the Catalan leader for the latter.
The German court freed Puigdemont on bail a month ago and is currently considering whether to accept a European Arrest Warrant against the deposed president from Spain or not.
Although the crime of rebellion was originally rejected due to lack of violence, judges could still accept it if the Spanish judiciary provides new evidence. The Catalan leader is also being accused of misuse of public funds.
In the letter, Llarena stressed that the crime of sedition does not require violence for it to be applied; rather, its objective is to protect public order.
Under Spanish criminal law, a conviction for sedition carries jail sentences of between 4 and 15 years. According to Article 544 of the Criminal Code, sedition charges may be attributed to those that rise up “publicly and tumultuously” to prevent the application of laws or the work of authorities “by force or illegally.”
Meanwhile, rebellion applies to those who “violently and publicly” try to “abrogate, suspend or modify the Constitution, either totally or partially,” or “declare the independence of part of the national territory.” The crime of rebellion carries prison sentences of up to 30 years.