Accessibility links

Breaking News

Spanish Judge Drops Extradition Requests for 6 Catalans

FILE - Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, center, holds a bunch of flowers as he and supporters sing after a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, April 7, 2018.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge has dropped his extradition requests for six Catalan separatist politicians wanted on rebellion charges.

They include Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia's ex-regional president who fled to Belgium to avoid arrest and then went to Germany.

The moves comes after a German court recently ruled Puigdemont couldn't be sent back to Spain for rebellion, only for misuse of public funds.

Judge Pablo Llarena said in a decision published Thursday that he's revoking the international arrest warrants against the six, in what the Catalan separatist movement was likely to regard as a major victory against Spain's central authorities.

The charges are in connection with the Catalan regional government's unauthorized referendum last year on independence from Spain and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the separatist-controlled regional parliament.