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

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

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.

Yellow weather warning spells more heavy rain for Portsmouth today
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.

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.

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