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German Court Keeps Former Catalan Leader Puigdemont in Custody
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A German court has kept former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont in custody pending possible extradition to Spain to face "rebellion" charges, as fresh demonstrations blocked several main roads in the Spanish region on Tuesday.
Puigdemont will "remain in detention for the time being, until a decision is made concerning the extradition procedure," the regional court in Kiel, northern Germany, announced Monday, a day after Puigdemont was arrested.
The ex-leader's detention in Germany has sparked angry protests in Catalonia and demonstrators blocked several major roads in the region on Tuesday, including briefly the two main access roads into Barcelona.
Puigdemont's arrest came five months after he went on the run as Spanish prosecutors sought to charge him with sedition and rebellion in the wake of Catalonia's failed independence bid in October last year.
He was detained on Sunday after crossing the border into Germany from Denmark, under a European warrant issued by Spain.
According to his lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, Puigdemont was on his way back to Belgium, where he lived in self-imposed exile after Spanish authorities moved to impose direct rule over Catalonia.
The court in northern Germany turned down a request from Puigdemont's legal team for his release pending the extradition decision by German authorities.
The ruling must normally be made within 60 days under German law. A spokeswoman for the German prosecutor's office told AFP it would "probably not come this week" ahead of the four-day Easter holiday.
The ousted president's detention marks the latest chapter in a secession saga that has bitterly divided Catalans and triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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