Former Catalan leader says from jail: 'We are not criminals'

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Mr Puigdemont has been held in Germany since being arrested last week on an global warrant issued by Spain.

While the charge of rebellion does not apply in Germany, the state prosecutor said on Tuesday that it could be equated with high treason in German law.

"Carles Puigdemont and his lawyers are confident there will be an independent and appropriate assessment by the regional high court to which they will present detailed objections to the extradition", his lawyer, Till Dunckel, said in a statement.

Spain is seeking the former president's extradition under charges of misuse of public funds in relation to Catalonia's independence declaration, as well as "rebellion" in organising a referendum, which Madrid has deemed illegal.

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"At the moment, it is too early to say when a decision by the Senate for Criminal Matters on the application for the extradition arrest warrant may be expected", the court's statement said.

His lawyers have also urged the German government to intervene in the case.

"We will continue to work to build a free country, to ensure we have a society with less injustice, more equality, more solidarity and more fraternity with all the peoples of the world, starting with the peoples of Spain with whom we want to remain connected through respect and mutual recognition", he said in an audio recording handed to a German MP who visited him in prison. "It is in the hands of the courts", a justice ministry spokesman said.

But it maintains that if there was any violence before or on October 1, the day when an independence referendum was held in Catalonia despite a court ban, it was "isolated" and did not justify the rebellion offence. She declined to put a time on its decision, but said she did not expect it to take months.

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It was not immediately clear when the court would rule on Puigdemont's possible extradition.

The 85-page appeal, seen by AFP on Monday, asks that the Spanish Supreme Court's "actions" be declared "null" 10 days after Judge Pablo Llarena said 25 Catalan separatist leaders - including Puigdemont - would be prosecuted over the region's secession bid.

The ousted Catalan president was arrested last month in Germany as he crossed into the country by vehicle.

Five separatist leaders are in custody and awaiting trial in Spain; all have denied any wrongdoing.

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