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Decision on Puigdemont in next few days “unlikely”, says German prosecutor

Unless judge overseeing his case decides otherwise, Catalan leader will remain in custody while awaiting extradition ruling

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27 March 2018 12:27 PM

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ACN | Neumünster

It is "unlikely" that a decision on Carles Puigdemont’s situation in Germany will be made in the next few days. That's according to the prosecutor of Schleswig-Holstein, the German region where Puigdemont was detained on Sunday after the Spanish judiciary issued a European arrest warrant against him. Sources from the judicial body noted that the deposed Catalan leader is currently "detained", and that it is up to the judge in charge of his case to decide on the precautionary measures to be applied while awaiting a decision on his extradition. That is a process that could take up to 90 days.

While the German prosecutor believes it unlikely that a decision on Puigdemont's case will be made this week, he did not rule it out as a possibility. Yet, if no decision is made this week, the deposed Catalan leader will remain in custody as long as the high court judge in charge of his case decides otherwise.

Sources close to the German prosecutor stated that the law does not have "a maximum period of time" to decide over the precautionary measures that should be applied while awaiting a decision on his extradition. After a hearing in a court room in Neumünster, lasting around three hours, a judge decided Puigdemont should remain in custody while his case is being assessed, arguing that he has "incentives" to flee to Belgium.

Puigdemont's defence cannot appeal against yesterday's court decision, as it is up to the prosecutor of the Schleswig-Holstein region to appeal the Neumünster court decision in the high court. According to the same sources, Puigdemont will "not necessarily" be summoned to testify in person before the judge at the high court. The deposed Catalan president could do so by sending a written statement.

The toughest possible precautionary measure that could be taken would be for Puigdemont to be sentenced to pre-trial prison while awaiting a decision on his extradition. The judge could also apply softer precautionary measures, such as allowing him out of jail on the condition that he appears in court regularly.

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  • The Neumünster prison in Germany (by Guifré Jordan)