German prosecutor to decide on Puigdemont’s imprisonment

Schleswig-Holstein attorney general expected to tell judge shortly whether Catalan president should be in prison during the whole extradition process

The building hosting the high court and the prosecutor of Schleswig-Holstein (by Guifré Jordan)
The building hosting the high court and the prosecutor of Schleswig-Holstein (by Guifré Jordan) / Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | Neumünster

April 2, 2018 09:46 PM

The attorney general for the land Schleswig-Holstein, in Germany, is expected to announce shortly whether it asks the judge for precautionary jail for Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan deposed president, while the Schleswig-Holstein high court decides on his extradition. The prosecutor’s office will be back to work on Tuesday, after the Easter break, and one of its officials told the Spanish agency EFE that a decision might be taken as soon as Tuesday. Once the attorney general has its say, the judge will set the precautionary measures while the whole extradition process takes place –for a maximum of three months.

Carles Puigdemont has been behind bars for over week now, but some sources from the attorney general told the Catalan News Agency that this is only a temporary situation while the judge sets the precautionary measures for the whole process in the coming days. The Catalan president remains “strong and serene,” according to one of his closest allies in his party, Elsa Artadi, who said on Sunday via Twitter that she had been able to speak with him.

Puigdemont’s audio from jail

Also on Sunday, two MPs for German left-wing party Die Linke visited him in the Neumünster prison. They offered Puigdemont “permanent residence” in Germany and the Catalan public radio obtained an audio message from the president recorded during the MPs visit. In the message, he accused Spain of acting in an increasingly “authoritarian” way and of reducing “fundamental rights.”

He also asked citizens to keep protesting “in a non-violent, civilized manner” as they have “always” done”. Since he was imprisoned, several protests across Catalonia have taken place, mainly organized by the so-called Committees in Defense of the Republic. Road cuts, slow marches on some roads and other protests have created several disruptions. The Spanish prosecutor has responded saying that it will act against these groups charging them with possible crimes of “rebellion,” the same crime facing Puigdemont cabinet, which might carry up to 30 years in jail.

Other extradition processes ongoing

Yet Carles Puigdemont is not the only pro-independence leader who is facing a possible extradition. The Spanish Supreme Court issued international arrest warrants for six politicians on March 23, including the deposed ministers Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig in Belgium, the Esquerra party secretary general Marta Rovira in Switzerland and the deposed minister Clara Ponsatí in Scotland. Last week, a judge decided not to jail Ponsatí during the process to decide her extradition. In Spain, nine pro-independence leaders are in pre-trial jail.