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Puigdemont arrest leaves Catalan independence movement on the ropes

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People take part in a weekly gathering to ask for the release of jailed Catalan activists and leaders in Barcelona, Spain, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID/BERLIN (Reuters) – A German court said on Monday it was likely to take several days to decide whether to extradite former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to Spain to face rebellion charges over the region’s campaign for independence.

But despite a night of protests across Catalonia in which dozens of people were hurt in clashes with police, Puigdemont’s arrest on Sunday in northern Germany leaves the independence movement weaker than it has been in years. Almost its entire leadership is now either behind bars ahead of trial or in exile.

Puigdemont, who fled Spain five months ago for Belgium after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed his regional administration and imposed direct rule from Madrid, faces charges of rebellion that could lead to 25 years in prison.

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Reuters

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