NEUMUENSTER, Germany – The latest on the crisis in Catalonia (all locations):
The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont asks the Spanish authorities to enter into a dialogue with Catalan politicians.
Following his release on bail from a German prison, Puigdemont also called for the immediate release of other Catalan separatist leaders held in Spain.
In a statement in English outside the prison in Neumuenster, Puigdemont said that "the time for dialogue has arrived" and that it was time to "find a political solution".
He said that Catalan leaders have demanded dialogue for six years, but that "they have only received a violent and repressive response."
He added: "Now, seeing the fall of that response, it's time to do politics."
Puigdemont argued that the Spanish authorities "have no excuses" not to speak with the Catalan leaders "in order to find a political solution to our demands, not because of a crime against the law."
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The Spanish government denies that it is pursuing Carles Puigdemont, after a German court decided to release the Catalan ex-leader on bail pending a decision on his possible extradition to Spain.
The government spokesman, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, says that Puigdemont "is not a victim of political persecution, he is a fugitive from justice".
Mendez de Vigo said at a weekly press conference in Madrid on Friday that the government respects the decisions of the German courts do not interfere in their decisions.
He says that the Spanish government "fulfilled its obligations" by imposing a direct government on Catalonia after Puigdemont and other separatists organized a referendum banned last October on the independence of Catalonia.
the government argues that the separatist offer of Catalonia is a legal issue, not a political one.
Since then, the Supreme Court has accused 14 Catalan separatists, including Puigdemont, with rebellion, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years.
Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont left the German prison after paying a payment of 75,000 euros ($ 92,000) demanded by a court for bail pending extradition
The 55-year-old man left the prison in Neumuenster in northern Germany, almost two weeks after he was arrested crossing the border from Denmark.
Speaking to journalists outside the prison, he thanked supporters "around the world" for their message of solidarity during their time in prison.
The Spanish authorities accuse Puigdemont of rebellion and misuse of public funds in the organization of an unauthorized referendum last year on the independence of Catalonia from Spain. Madrid is seeking extradition under a European arrest warrant.
The German government is not commenting on a judicial decision to release former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on bail, noting that the case is in the hands of the judiciary.
A state court in Schleswig ruled on Thursday that Puigdemont may be released on bail pending a decision on whether to extradite him to Spain, and decided that he can not be extradited with the most serious accusation. against.
German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said on Friday that the question of any government intervention in Berlin "does not occur." He stressed that "the process is in the hands of the judiciary"
Demmer reiterated the position of the German government that the conflict over the future of Catalonia "must be resolved within the Spanish legal and constitutional order", supporting the position of the Spanish government.
German prosecutors say they ordered the immediate release of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont after posting bail of 75,000 euros ($ 92,000).
The Schleswig prosecutor's office said on Friday that Puigdemont also provided the authorities with an address in Germany, where he will reside pending a decision in his extradition case.
The 55-year-old man was arrested on March 25 after crossing the border with Denmark. Spain is seeking extradition for rebellion and embezzlement of public funds to organize an unauthorized referendum last year on the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
The state court of Schleswig ruled on Thursday that Puigdemont can not be extradited for rebellion because the German equivalent law presumes the use or threat of force sufficient to break the will of the authorities. He can still be extradited on charges of embezzlement.
Carles Puigdemont's lawyers arrived at the German prison where the former Catalan leader was held for the past two weeks.  Puigdemont is expected to be released on bail pending extradition Friday, once he posts a payment of 75,000 euros ($ 92,000).
The 55-year-old man was arrested on March 25 after crossing the border from Denmark. Spain had issued a European arrest warrant seeking his arrest and extradition.
Madrid accuses Puigdemont of rebellion and misuse of public funds in organizing an unauthorized referendum last year on the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
The state court in Schleswig ruled on Thursday that Puigdemont can not be extradited for rebellion because the German equivalent law presumes the use or threat of force sufficient to break the will of the authorities. He can still be extradited on charges of embezzlement.
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