Spain withdraws global arrest warrants against Puigdemont and other Catalan politicians

It also made a decision to drop the extradition of the former Catalan regional leader from Germany, where he was charged with misuse of public funds linked to the referendum.

The charges are in connection with the Catalan regional government's unauthorised referendum on independence from Spain and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-controlled regional Parliament.

Puigdemont was cleared last week of extradition to Spain on the charge of rebellion by a court in Germany, where he is now in exile, on the grounds his actions during the vote were non-violent.

Spanish authorities revoked European and global arrest warrants for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other leading separatist politicians now in exile. However, Llarena criticized the German court's decision, saying it showed "a lack of commitment" in pursuing the fugitives. "Withdrawing the European arrest warrants demonstrates the enormous weakness of this case".

Spain's Supreme Court has revoked the global arrest warrants against Carles Puigdemont, the exiled former president of Catalonia, and five other Catalan separatists.

Spain outlawed the independence referendum held in Catalonia on 1 October.

Judge Pablo Llarena wants Puigdemont and the other separatist politicians who fled the country to face charges of rebellion and sedition in addition to misuse of public funds.

Rebellion carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison in Spain, while misuse of public funds is a lesser charge that carries up to 12 years.

The former Catalan president's lawyer, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, also took to the Twitter, humorously posting: "It looks like we'll get to have a memorable summer and finally plan some holidays".

Facing arrest in Spain, Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium and then moved on to Germany, where he remains on bail and has been fighting extradition.

Nine Catalan separatist leaders are now in custody in Spain and awaiting trial.

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