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

A protester wears a mask of ousted separatist president Carles Puigdemont during a demonstration in Barcelona

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.

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

Meanwhile, his foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, criticized comments from German Justice Minister Katarina Barley to newspaper Sueddeutsche, in which she argued the decision to drop rebellion charges was right. The German court argued it couldn't extradite him on charges of high treason - the rough equivalent of Spain's rebellion charges - since the use of violence wasn't such to endanger the state.

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.

Speaking from Seville where the governing People's Party is holding a national convention this weekend, Rajoy said he respected the court's decision but doubled down on his defense of the Spanish constitution.

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

Sanchez's name was originally put forward after former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, living in self-imposed exile in Belgium and wanted in Spain, dropped his candidacy.

New auto registrations fall by fifth as diesel is written off
On the road, the vehicle fuel industry supports 40,000 jobs, and a further 347,000 are employed in vehicle servicing and fix . Despite the sizeable fall, March 2018 is still the fourth biggest on record for new vehicle numbers.

Former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont has written an open letter from a German prison, urging Catalonia's parliament to make another attempt to elect jailed separatist activist Jordi Sanchez as the region's president.

The court ordered his release on a bail of €75,000 ($91,786).

Puigdemont was detained in Germany on a Spanish arrest warrant as he attempted to drive on March 25 from Finland to Belgium, where he now resides.

Mr Puigdemont is accused by the Spanish authorities of rebellion and misuse of public funds following an unauthorised referendum previous year on Catalonia's independence from Spain. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.

The German court decided the charge of rebellion did not warrant extradition, because the accusation isn't punishable under German law.

"It is a shame for Europe to have political prisoners", Puigdemont said. Puigdemont can still be extradited on the less serious charge of misuse of funds.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Former South Korean leader gets 24 years in prison
Apr 07, 2018 - 00:33
A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in jail after being found guilty of bribery . He was initially sentenced to death, before the penalty was commuted to life in prison by the country's highest court in 1997.

Garner energized for another Frozen Four
Apr 07, 2018 - 00:30
The teams went to the second intermission tied at two, but that didn't last long into the third and final period. Pearson said he was proud of the effort they gave, battling back from an 8-10-2 start.

Natural disaster strikes off LA coast
Apr 06, 2018 - 07:03
The 5.3-magnitude quake that rattled Southern California on Thursday was the strongest in the area several years, scientists said. The quake was centered just off the Ventura County coast. "It is Southern California, we are natural disaster country".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manhattan Beach police arrest 3 in stolen vehicle
Apr 05, 2018 - 01:38
Delta State Police Commissioner Muhammad Mustafa confirmed the stolen rifle and said his men were out to recover the rifle. Ujjal was caught in the line of fire and sustained bullet injuries to his chest, the DB OC said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Lockheed Gets $247M NASA Supersonic X-Plane Development Contract
Apr 05, 2018 - 01:37
The sound it generates, NASA says, should be at 75 perceived-level decibels, or "about as loud as a vehicle door closing". The earlier supersonic airliner Concorde was retired in 2003 because of high maintenance costs and irritating sonic boom.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Anti-Muslim Hate Overwhelmed on Social Media by #LoveAMuslimDay and #WeStandTogether
Apr 04, 2018 - 01:46
According to the Daily Record newspaper, Muhammad Adrees, convener of the Muslim Council of Scotland, has claimed that the letters have already led to Islamophobic incidents.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Allegri: Juve learnt from defeat to Real
Apr 04, 2018 - 01:44
Tuesday's hosts will be forced to play without Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia who are both ruled out due to suspension. ZINEDINE ZIDANE probably didn't get the welcome he was expecting on his first return to Juventus as manager.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China's space station to enter Earth's atmosphere on April 2
Apr 03, 2018 - 03:29
Website Satflare has a live tracker to show the current location of the abandoned space station and where it might land . Is the Heavenly Palace out of control? Where will Tiangong-1 fall? Scientists took this to mean it had stopped working.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Yellow weather warning spells more heavy rain for Portsmouth today
Apr 03, 2018 - 03:29
While the timing was unfortunate for morning commuters at least they caught a bit of a break with public schools off this week. Tuesday, with snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches with localized amounts of up to 12 inches expected across the area.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Easter weekend storm to spread wintry mix from Midwest to Northeast
Apr 03, 2018 - 03:25
Almost two weeks after spring began, residents in the northeastern United States trudged through another snowstorm Monday morning. Snow began falling from 3am this morning while temperatures, which were in the low 40s, plummeted to below the mid-30s.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google to discontinue its URL shortener console next year
Apr 02, 2018 - 00:38
Now the company has announced that it is shutting down the services and is replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL ). Sadly, this service will go down in one year from now, but it will stop accepting new users on April 13, 2018.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Lindberg leads by three
Apr 02, 2018 - 00:35
Valenzuela was one of four amateurs to make the cut, with Rose Zhang (70), Atthaya Thitikul (71), Lilia Vu (70) also advancing. Six players are four shots back, the most formidable being seven-time major champion Inbee Park (67) and the reigning U.S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Turkey warns France of bolstering military presence in Syria
Apr 02, 2018 - 00:35
The US has repeatedly warned that Turkey's campaign in Afrin has risked distracting from the fight against IS. But the Turkish president said that Macron had made "strange remarks" in a call about Syria last week.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Announces Trade Deal Wednesday, Threatens to Change His Mind on Thursday
Apr 01, 2018 - 12:24
Trump has accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a meeting in May. A summit between Kim and President Donald Trump is also anticipated by the end of May.

Mourinho invites rival into news conference after United win
Apr 01, 2018 - 12:22
Reserve goalkeeper Sergio Romero will miss the Swansea game after suffering a knee injury during Argentina's 6-1 defeat by Spain in Madrid on Tuesday.