Germany asks Spain for report denying misuse of funds during referendum
The German court hearing Puigdemont's extradition case is not expected to make a decision before the end of the month
Germany has asked the Spanish Supreme Court to forward a report, originally issued by the former Spanish Treasury ministry, that denies any misuse of public funds during the organization of the Catalan independence referendum.
The Schleswig-Holstein court dealing with the case of Carles Puigdemont has asked the prosecution to present them with the report, following a request by the defense of the deposed Catalan president.
The text was published in Spain last May. In it, former treasury minister Cristóbal Montoro stated that, to his knowledge, there had been no use of public funds during the referendum. In fact, the former minister went on to say that any crime could have only been committed "if a civil servant falsified documents colluding with a provider favorable to independence."
The official document by the Spanish government denying that misuse of funds occurred is considered to be key for Puigdemont's defense, as it suggests that there is no proof that he used public money to finance the vote on October 1.
The judges who will have to decide whether to extradite Puigdemont already said months ago that they did not see any grounds for charges of rebellion. Despite this, the German prosecution insisted on asking that an extradition be carried out on the basis of both rebellion and misuse of funds. However, the court stated they did not see reason to change their original decision to not pursue rebellion charges, and expressed "doubts" on those of misuse of funds. Judges are now evaluating the case.
However, they are not expected to come to a decision before the end of the month. In fact, Puigdemont's defense has not yet presented the allegations against his extradition, and won't do so this week, sources said. And, until they do, the magistrates cannot rule on the extradition.