Former Catalan leader Puigdemont detained in Germany

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Berlin: Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was detained in Germany on Sunday, five months after entering self-imposed exile from Spain, where he faces up to 25 years in prison for orgaCarles Puigdemon?nizing an illegal secession referendum last year.
Puigdemont had entered Germany from Denmark after leaving Finland on Friday when it appeared that police would arrest him there and begin an extradition process requested by Spain. The detention threatens to worsen the Catalan crisis that flared last year when the region made a symbolic declaration of independence, prompting Madrid to take direct rule. Tens of thousands of Catalans, many of them wearing yellow in support of jailed separatist leaders, demonstrated in Barcelona on Sunday afternoon, chanting “Puigdemont, our president” and “freedom for political prisoners.”
In a smaller parallel protest outside the central government delegation in the Catalan capital, three people were arrested and 50 suffered minor injuries after protesters clashed with riot police. Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent called for a broad coalition in defense of civil liberties and sovereign rights in a televised address on Sunday evening. “No judge, no government and no civil servant has right to charge and pursue the president of all Catalans,” he said. Torrent called for “calm and responsibility” following the scuffles.
Spain’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that 25 Catalan leaders would be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state and reactivated international arrest warrants for Puigdemont and four other politicians who went into self-imposed exile last year. Among those subject to the arrest order, Clara Ponsati, a former Catalan minister now living in Scotland, told authorities she would turn herself in, Scottish police said in a statement on Sunday afternoon. The other three Catalan leaders are in Belgium.