Fri Jul 20th, 2018 at 12:38:49 AM EST
A week ago, a German court rejected the extradition of exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on "rebellion" charges. He could be extradited for "misuse of public funds", but not for "rebellion" as there was no equivalent offence in German law (Germany requires actual or planned violence, not peaceful protest and democratic advocacy. The idea of a peaceful "rebellion" is nonsensical). And now, as expected, Spain is having a legal temper-tantrum and has withdrawn the European Arrest Warrants against all the exiled Catalan politicians:
A Spanish judge has dropped the international arrest warrants issued for the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and five other pro-sovereignty politicians over their roles in last year's illegal referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.
The dropping of the international warrant means Puigdemont and his former colleagues - currently in Belgium, Scotland and Switzerland - no longer face extradition proceedings. But domestic warrants remain in force, meaning the six will be arrested should they return to Spain.
In his ruling, published on Thursday, Llarena hit out at the court in Schleswig-Holstein, accusing it of "a lack of commitment" over acts that could have "broken Spain's constitutional order". The German court's refusal to extradite Puigdemont on the rebellion charge - which prosecutors had argued could be equated to "high treason" in the German penal code - meant the deposed president could not be tried for the offence if sent back to Spain.
That offence - again, for purely democratic actions taken and backed by the Catalan Parliament - is really all Spain wants to charge him with. The "misuse of public funds" charge is a smokescreen, and even the Spanish government says it didn't happen. But now Spain is being denied its show trial. No wonder they're upset.
Unfortunately, Spain is still holding nine Catalan political leaders as political prisoners on similar trumped-up charges. And they'll probably take out their anger on them.