NEUMüNSTER: Puigdemont’s lawyers have appealed in Spain against the ‘rebellion’ charge, highlighting that he was not involved in violence.
Public opinion in Spain is divided on whether the referendum constituted a “violent uprising” as laid out in law.
Catalans mostly reject the rebellion charge, according to opinion polls, with a major demonstration calling for imprisoned separatist leaders to be freed planned for April 15 in Barcelona.
After being removed from office by the central government in Madrid following a unilateral declaration of independence on October 27, Puigdemont fled to Belgium.
He was arrested in northern Germany in late March on the way back from a trip to Finland.
Puigdemont and six political allies escaped Spanish authorities in an attempt to ‘internationalise’ their plight by dragging other European Union countries into the row.
A Belgian judge on Thursday bailed three of the four former Catalan ministers who fled to Belgium with him after they handed themselves in to police there.
Spain wants the trio — Meritxell Serret, Antoni Comin, Lluis Puig — to face charges of rebellion, misuse of public funds and disobeying the state.
Nine other pro-independence figures are currently in custody in Spain, including six members of Puigdemont’s Catalan government and the former president of the Catalan parliament.