Catalan Ex-Leader Carles Puigdemont Arrested in Germany

Carles Puigdemont the former regional president was indicted yesterday

In a statement, police said the Catalan ex-leader was arrested near a section of the A7 highway, which cuts through the state from the city of Flensburg near the Danish border.

Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont: "I will not throw in the towel".

He was detained by police after he crossed the border into Germany from Denmark, Puigdemont's lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, wrote on Twitter.

Albert Rivera, the leader of the centrist party Ciudadanos which was set up in Catalonia to fight against separatism, welcomed Puigdemont's arrest.

He faces charges of rebellion, rioting, and misappropriation of public funds. Puigdemont was arrested Sunday by German police on an global warrant as he tried to enter the country from Denmark.

Paul Bekaert, who represents Puigdemont in Belgium, where he had been subject to an arrest warrant in December, said his client rang him after being detained in Germany and had appeared calm during the conversation.

The protests had been called on Thursday, by the Committees for the Defence of the Republic, before the court decisions.

Puigdemont himself had said from Belgium in early March that he was abandoning his bid to return as regional president, even though he had run in December's polls from overseas.

German police on Sunday arrested Catalonia's former president Carles Puigdemont as he crossed the border with Denmark by vehicle, after Spain's Supreme Court vowed to prosecute key separatists over their breakaway bid.

Spain's supreme court announced Friday it would prosecute 13 Catalan separatists for "rebellion" including Puigdemont, for their role in the region's failed bid to break away from Madrid past year. Mr Turull was among five people taken into custody in fresh arrests.

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The vote had been swiftly followed by the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence on October 27. Nearly the entire leadership now faces a major legal fight.

News of the arrest in Germany caused uproar in Catalonia, which declared independence after a referendum dismissed as unconstitutional by Madrid, which then imposed direct rule.

On Friday, a Spanish supreme court judge issued global arrest warrants for seven fugitive Catalan leaders who have been charged with rebellion, which could lead to prison terms of up to 30 years.

German magazine Focus said that Spanish intelligence informed the BKA federal police that Puigdemont was on his way from Finland to Germany.

Among those also wanted is Catalonia's former education minister, Clara Ponsati.

The former Catalan regional president was at the time of his detention heading to Belgium, according to Puigdemont's spokesman Joan Maria Pique.

After moving to politics, he became an MP and later mayor of Girona, north-east of Barcelona.

Note that on October 1 in Catalonia, a referendum on independence was held.

Spain's government sacked Mr Puigdemont and his entire administration before dissolving the parliament as a result.

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