German court bails former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont

The supreme and the prosecution are trying to keep the crime of rebellion alive

Catalonia's Carles Puigdemont calls on Madrid to 'respect democracy'

He repeated a call for dialogue with the Spanish state and asked the authorities to respect the results of last December's regional elections - which saw the Catalan separatists win a slim majority.

Speaker Roger Torrent said Saturday he will propose Jordi Sanchez as the regional presidential candidate, even though Sanchez is detained for his part in an illegal- and unsuccessful- secession bid by Catalonia past year.

She stated that if Spain couldn't prove the allegations of misuse of public funds, "afterward Puigdemont would be a free man in a absolutely free country - notably in Germany".

Spain is seeking Puigdemont's extradition for rebellion and misuse of public funds in organising an unauthorised referendum previous year on Catalonia's independence from Spain.

The Spanish government has said it would respect the German court's decision.

Separatists held onto their parliamentary majority in December elections but courts have blocked their attempts to only elect as leader lawmakers who are either fugitives from the country or now behind bars.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Saturday that he will remain in Berlin while the legal case on his extradition is pending.

But Spain's Supreme Court said on Friday it was considering consulting the European Court of Justice on the ruling, without giving more details.

A jailed Catalan pro-independence activist was on Saturday proposed as the new regional president for a second time despite a failed first attempt.

He was arrested on 25 March on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain.

Mr Puigdemont, who is wanted in Spain for rebellion, must pay bail of €75,000 (£65,500) and report to police once a week.

Since October, Puigdemont was living in Belgium.

Justice Minister Katarina Barley of Germany applauded that the courtroom's conclusion to spare Mr. Puigdemont on bail as "entirely appropriate" and exactly what she'd expected. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

"It is a shame for Europe to have political prisoners", Puigdemont said.

A demonstration was planned in the northern German town of Neumünster, where Puigdemont had been held since his detention, against his still-possible extradition.

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