Formal request for the extradition of Carles Puigdemont

On the 1st June, German prosecutors formally applied to the higher regional court in Germany for the extradition of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. German prosecutors want Puigdemont returned to Spain to face charges related to his role in the Catalan independence movement, last year. The formal request comes one month after German prosecutors failed to convince the court that Puigdemont should be remanded in custody pending his full extradition hearing.

Last week also saw Pedro Sanchez become the new Prime Minister of Spain, however it is unlikely that the new Spanish leader will reverse the Spanish Court’s decision to try and extradite Puigdemont. A date for the final decision regarding Puigdemont’s extradition has not yet been announced.

You can find our other blog posts relating to this matter here.

 

Germany begin planning to extradite Carles Puigdemont

On Tuesday, German prosecutors reported that they were going to apply to extradite Puigdemont to Spain, but a German court has said they will not imprison him whilst the extradition process is being carried out.
Puigdemont initially travelled to Belgium, from Spain, after Catalonia failed to gain independence from the state of Spain, last October. In March, Puigdemont crossed the Belgian border, into Germany, where he was arrested on a warrant issued by the Spanish court.

In April, the Spanish authorities attempted to have Puigdemont extradited to face charges of rebellion, which they insisted was due to his role in the Catalan Independence campaign. The German courts refused to extradite him on charges of rebellion but did say that they would extradite Puigdemont if the charges were lessened to misuse of public funds.

This week, prosecutors have asked for Puigdemont to be remanded in custody and have provided new evidence of violence against the police, in the wake of the failed Catalan independence bid, which they argue amounts to rebellion.
The German Court is yet to announce when it will rule on the extradition itself

German extradition of Roman Pisciotti did not breach anti-discrimination principles, rules CJEU

The CJEU today ruled that Germany were right to extradite Roman Pisciotti to the US. Mr Pisciotti was accused of anti-trust offences which took place in Florida between 1999 and 2006. A Florida court issued a warrant for his arrest in 2010 and he was eventually arrested at Frankfurt airport in 2013. Germany extradited Mr Pisciotti to the US in 2014 where he served a 2-year prison sentence. In the CJEU, his lawyers argued that as he is an EU citizen he should have been treated equally to German citizens and therefore not extradited to the US as Article 16 of Germany’s Basic Law prevents Germans from being extradited other than to other EU Member States. Therefore, despite being Italian, Mr Pisciotti argued that when in Germany he was entitled under EU law to the same protection as a German citizen. The CJEU decided that Germany’s decision to extradite Mr Pisciotti did not breach EU anti-discrimination principles and that such principles should not be used in a way that would result in individuals being granted immunity from justice throughout the EU. The effect of the CJEU judgement is that Germany does not have to offer all EU citizens the same protection from extradition as it does its own citizens. However, the court held that where the extradition of an EU citizen was requested by a 3rd country, outside of the EU, from an EU Member State that would not ordinarily extradite its own citizens to that 3rd country, the authorities of that Member State should first enquire with requested person’s country of citizenship whether it wished to prosecute him for the offence that was the subject of the extradition request. If his country of citizenship declined, then extradition to the 3rd country could follow.

Turkey requests Red Notice for journalist it accuses of espionage

A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant and requested an Interpol Red Notice for Turkish journalist Can Dündar, who is currently exiled in Germany and is wanted by Turkey on charges of espionage. He was arrested in Turkey in November 2015 in relation to a report he wrote for the newspaper Cumhuriyet concerning allegations of Turkey smuggling weapons into Syria. He was released, but has since been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for in relation to his report.  However, on 9 March this year Turkey’s Supreme Court overturned this sentence, having found that Dündar should have been charged with espionage, which carries a 15-20 year sentence.

American NGO the Committee to Protect Journalists has called for Turkey to end its prosecution of Dündar, and urged Interpol to reject Turkey’s request for a Red Notice.

Puigdemont & Ponsati face court hearings in battle against extradition to Spain

A German court has ruled that the requirements to detain exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont are met by the European Arrest Warrant for him issued by Spain. The Court has also denied him bail, after finding that he had a “strong incentive” to attempt travel to Belgium where he may have a better chance of fighting extradition. Mr Puigdemont was arrested in Germany on Friday, while attempting to travel between Finland and Belgium, and a final decision on his extradition must now be made within 90 days (see previous blog).

At the same time, former Catalan education secretary Carla Ponsati, who like Puigdemont left Spain in October last year, has agreed to turn herself in to police in Scotland where she had returned to a teaching post at St Andrews University. As with Mr Puigdemont, she is wanted by Spain on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

Puigdemont arrested in Germany as Spain issues arrest warrants for former ministers

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain for Belgium in October last year, has been arrested in Germany and is due to appear in court to decide whether he should remain in custody. He is wanted in Spain to face charges of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds.

On Friday, Spain also issued European Arrest Warrants for 5 former Catalan ministers. One of whom is Clara Ponsatí, who was Catalan minister of education under Puigdemont and is currently an economist at St Andrews University in Scotland. She also left Spain in October, and the university has said that it is “committed to protect and support her”.

Germany declines to extradite traders charged with Euribor rigging to the UK

Germany has declined an extradition request from the UK for four traders at Deutsche Bank AG who are charged in the UK with rigging the Euribor interest rate benchmark. The decision came after a German court ruled that the alleged crimes had taken place too far in the past to be tried.

However, the traders still face arrest warrants in other EU countries such as France and Italy, and the UK could also choose to pursue them through Interpol after it leaves the EU.