A German court chose to allow the extradition of Catalan separatist leaderCarles Puigdemont to Spain, on a charge of misuse of public funds, a blow to the Spanish authorities' bid to bring him back to stand trial on the more serious charge of rebellion.
A source in Puigdemont's legal team said the former Catalan leader would appeal a decision to extradite him from Germany on any charge.
In its Thursday ruling, the Schleswig-Holstein court said that the acts for which Puigdemont stands accused do not amount to high treason nor a breach of public peace according to German law.
"However, in authorising Mr Puigdemont's extradition for the offence of misuse of public funds, it seems that the German court rejected, or was unable to consider, whether extradition should be refused on the basis that the prosecution was politically motivated".
"The accusation of misuse of public funds is acceptable, extradition for rebellion is not acceptable", the German court stated in a press release.
"We have defeated the main lie sustained by the state", Puigdemont tweeted.
Puigdemont fled to Brussels after Spanish courts issued a warrant for his arrest over his role in Catalonia's declaration of independence last October.
Responding to the court decision, German prosecutors said they would soon decide whether to authorize the extradition of Puigdemont, who was arrested in March while traveling through Germany.
"The accusations against Puigdemont are not equivalent to a crime of high treason and the disturbance of public order under German law", the statement from the German court added.
"Every minute that our companions spend in prison is a minute of shame and injustice".
The current Catalan regional premier, Quim Torra, a hard-line supporter of Catalan independence, was quick to voice his reaction to the news via Twitter.
"Catalan political prisoners should be freed NOW", he said.