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

Extradition of Catalan Separatists from Brussels.

Yesterday, a court in Brussels ruled that the Catalan Separatists: Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluis Puig should not be extradited to Spain. The decision from the Belgian Court marks another obstacle on the Spanish authorities’ course to extradite those who were involved in the Catalan independence vote last year. Comín, Serret and Puig are facing charges of misuse of public funds and rebellion. The decision not to extradite the Catalan Regional counsellors is significant because the judgment included a decision that the European Arrest Warrants issued, rescinded then reissued by the Spanish authorities for the arrests of the three councillors were not valid because they were not supported by corresponding new, domestic, Spanish arrest warrants.

Extradition of James Acourt

James Acourt has accepted extradition from Spain to the UK pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant. The former suspect in the Stephen Lawrence murder case was arrested in Barcelona and will be extradited to the UK to face numerous high-level drugs charges.

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”.

Irish High Court halts Polish extradition request over rule of law fears and refers it to the ECJ

The Irish High Court has halted Poland’s request for the extradition of Artur Celmer, a Polish citizen wanted by Poland on charges of drug-trafficking, and referred the case to the ECJ for guidance.

In her ruling, Justice Aileen Donnelly said that the rule of law in Poland “has been systematically damaged” by cumulative legislative changes and that respect for the rule of law was essential “for mutual trust in the operation of the European Arrest Warrant”.

At the end of last year, the European Commission concluded that there was “a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland” after judicial reforms in Poland meant that, in its view, the country’s judiciary was “now under the political control of the ruling majority” (EU press release here). The ruling is a significant and, arguably, unprecedented indictment by a national court of the legal system in another State, which no doubt will be used to challenge Polish EAWs in many other jurisdictions.

 

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.