Carles Puigdemont, the recently arrested ex-governor of Spain’s Catalonia, has urged the German government to decline a request for his extradition to Spain, local media reported on Thursday.
According to the German newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung,” Puigdemont’s German attorney Wolfgang Schomburg said Berlin should “immediately” announce it would refuse to grant its political approval for the delivery of his client to Spanish authorities.
Such an approval would be necessary to enable the Catalan politician’s extradition regardless of the verdict reached by the Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court, which is currently deliberating the case.
Puigdemont is wanted in Spain for illegally declaring the independence of the autonomous province of Catalonia last year. After being sacked by the central government in Madrid and then fleeing to Brussels, he was arrested at the German-Danish border on Sunday when he was returning from a trip to Scandinavia.
Schomburg announced that he would file a suit at the German Federal Constitutional Court in the southwestern German city Karlsruhe unless Puigdemont was released from custody shortly.
Earlier, the Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court had announced that a verdict might not be reached before April and that the Catalan politician would remain in police custody throughout the process.
Federal Minister of Justice Katarina Barley has so far refused to comment on this.
“The first steps are purely judicial ones and we will have to wait until they are completed for now,” Barley told local media.