Belgian court pushes back extradition hearing for 5 Catalans

2017-11-17 18:11
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. (Manu Fernandez, AP)

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. (Manu Fernandez, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - A court in Belgium on Friday pushed back the extradition arguments of ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four allies until at least Decemberr 4, likely keeping the secessionist rebels in Belgium right through Catalonia's regional election campaign.

The court hearing in Brussels for the five Catalans is the latest step in their flight from Spain to Brussels and their refusal to return to face rebellion and sedition charges that could land them in jail for 25 years.

Final ruling

Before the court session, the prime ministers of Spain and Belgium discussed their bilateral relations, which have been strained over the case of the Catalan officials who are wanted on a Spanish arrest warrant.

Puigdemont lawyer Paul Bekaert said after the first court session on Friday that "we will argue the case on December 4." Whatever decision is made at that stage, two appeals will be possible and a final ruling could well only come only after the December 21 election day in Catalonia.

Bekaert said even though the prosecutor asked for the execution of the extradition request from Spain for the five, the defence lawyers could still give written arguments until early next month.

"So nothing has been decided today (on Friday)," he said.

Sedition charges

The prosecutor said, according to Belgian law, there was no corruption on the part of the Catalan five but a "conspiracy of civil servants." And he added that for a refusal to fully commit to their jobs "there can be no extradition." He did not address Spain's rebellion and sedition charges.

The Belgian government has steadfastly said that it can't intervene in Spain's extradition request since it's up to the country's independent judiciary to make a decision.

Read more on:    belgium  |  spain

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.