Dozens injured as Puigdemont’s arrest in Germany sparks violent protests in Catalonia

EPA-EFE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

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Protests broke out across the Spanish region of Catalonia on Sunday after former leader Carles Puigdemont was taken into custody in Germany. 

According to media reports, some 100 people were injured in clashes with police in Barcelona, and at least nine persons were arrested.

EPA-EFE/ANDREU DALMAU

News of the arrest sparked protests in Girona, Tarragona and Lleida as well.

EPA-EFE/JAUME SELLART

Former Catalan president is wanted in Spain for sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, charges which could result in up to 30 years in prison. He was detained by German police acting on a European arrest warrant as he crossed the border between Denmark and Germany on Sunday.

Puigdemont has been living in a self-imposed exile in Brussels since Catalan parliament declared independence from Spain in October. He was travelling in a car on the way from Finland to Belgium when he was arrested.

EPA-EFE/ENRIC FONTCUBERTA

According to the rules of the European arrest warrant, Germany has up to 60 days to decide whether to extradite Puigdemont to Spain.

Germany can extradite suspects only if the alleged offence is also punishable under German law; therefore, German judges will have to assess if there is an equivalent to the Spanish charges in German law. They do not have to prove that an offence has actually taken place.

EPA-EFE/QUIQUE GARCIA

Statement issued by Puigdemont’s press officer Joan Maria Pique on Sunday reads that “Puigdemont has been detained in Germany as he crossed from Denmark en route to Belgium”.

He has been properly treated throughout and is right now in a police station. He was on his way to Belgium where he would be, as always, at the disposal of Belgian justice”, the statement reads.

However, local German newspapers reported that Puigdemont was considering applying for asylum in Germany.