Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont urges dialogue with Spain

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont greets supporters after he was released on bail from the prison in Neumuenster northern Germany Friday

Puigdemont said he has no plans to return to Spanish soil, where he faces arrest, and insisted the Catalan conflict requires global mediation.

German authorities are still considering whether to extradite Puigdemont to Spain after he was arrested on March 25 on an arrest warrant issued by Madrid while traveling through Germany.

The deposed leader left a prison in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on Friday afternoon after posting €75,000 (£65,000) in bail.

The Spanish Supreme Court is also considering appealing to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for a preliminary ruling on the case.

The 55-year-old politician led a parliamentary session last year that saw separatist lawmakers vote for the region of Catalonia to declare independence from Spain.

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.

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The German court decided the charge of rebellion did not warrant extradition, because the accusation isn't punishable under German law. It displayed images of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, two other Catalan independence leaders who were jailed in Spain previous year amid efforts to create a Catalonian nation.

A previous attempt to appoint Sanchez as regional president failed last month after Spain's Supreme Court turned down a request for him to be released from jail to be sworn in.

A German court ruled Thursday that extradition was not permissible on the basis of the rebellion charge, because the comparable German charge of treason stipulates that the defendant must have committed violence. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

Separately, the president of the Catalan regional parliament, Roger Torrent, said Saturday he would back pro-independence activist Jordi Sanchez - now in prison in Madrid - to become the next regional president in an effort to avert an election. We said that we are always ready for this.

Jordi Sanchez was remanded in custody in October pending charges of sedition over last year's Catalan independence bid.

In an indictment Thursday, Spanish National Court Judge Carmen Lamela says former Mossos d'Esquadra chief Josep Lluis Trapero was part of an organized plan to seek Catalonia's secession from Spain.

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