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Former Catalan President Puigdemont Detained in Germany

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoOusted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks during a media conference in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks during a media conference in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 - Sputnik International
Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany, the Reuters news agency reported, citing his lawyer.

"The president was detained when he crossed the border from Denmark, on his way to Belgium from Finland," Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas posted on Twitter.

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont had left Finland before the country's police could arrest him in line with an arrest warrant issued by Spain, Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas announced earlier. German police say Puigdemont has been detained on a European arrest warrant. The ex-head of Catalonia is currently being held at a police station.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office will submit the required documents to their German counterparts and the Eurojust agency to enable the extradition of the former President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, local media reported.

The German Federal Public Prosecution Office is supposed to make a decision on the extradition within 60 days, however, this time frame may be prolonged under exceptional circumstances, said the EFE news agency, citing sources.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge had reactivated an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont on Friday while the latter was visiting Finland.

"The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgian justice," Joan Maria Pique, Puigdemont's spokesman said.

READ MORE: Catch Me If You Can: Ex-Catalan Head Flees Finland Amid Issued Arrest Warrant

Carles Puigdemont said that he was ready for talks with the Spanish central government, and believed that his return would be evidence of the normalization of politics and democracy in the country.

The supporters of Catalonia's independence have taken to the streets of Barcelona, protesting against Puigdemont's detention.

On October 1, 2017, Catalonia held a referendum on the region's independence from Spain. The vast majority of voters backed secession. The plebiscite was not, however, recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government.

Spanish authorities have opened a criminal case against 30 Catalan politicians and officials, arresting four of them, while Puigdemont, as well as several advisers of the dissolved Catalan government, fled Spain before the trial.

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