Germany praises bail decision for ex-Catalan leader

Speaker Roger Torrent said Saturday he will propose Jordi Sanchez as the regional presidential candidate, even though Sanchez is detained for his part in an illegal- and unsuccessful- secession bid by Catalonia a year ago.

German prosecutors have argued that the charge of rebellion is similar to Germany's offence of treason.

A German court is deciding whether Puigdemont should be extradited on the lesser charge of misuse of public funds to hold a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia previous year.

He also called on the Spanish government to "respect democracy" and global treaties in its treatment of the region and its politicians.

Torrent had earlier proposed Sanchez but the first attempt failed last month when a Spanish judge refused to release Sanchez from custody to attend the vote in the Barcelona-based chamber. Separatist law makers have yet to be ready to produce a new administration after successful a narrow parliamentary majority in a election in December predicted by Mr. Rajoy.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Saturday called for political dialogue with the Spanish government following his conditional release from a German prison.

The Spanish Supreme Court is considering appealing to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on extradition procedures among EU member states.

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But Puigdemont could still be extradited on the misuse of public funds charge, which relates to questions about the legality of the referendum.

Rajoy's position was not shared by the leading politician of his conservative Popular Party in Catalonia.

A court official in Germany says that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's release from prison is conditioned on his remaining in Germany while extradition proceedings continue and reporting to police once a week.

He was arrested on 25 March on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.

"We feel that comments on judges' decisions at this point are not appropriate", he told reporters in the southern Spanish city of Seville.

A demonstration was planned in the northern German town of Neum√ľnster, where Puigdemont had been held since his detention, against his still-possible extradition.


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