Belgium: Puigdemont left free under conditions – World


The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont He appeared voluntarily on Friday morning before the Belgian court, which served him with the European arrest warrant issued against him in Madrid, and decided to keep him at liberty under judicial supervision, according to concordant sources.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Carles Puigdemont explained that he went to the police and was shown to a Belgian judge, who sent him the decision.

He was released "without bail, with the possibility of leaving Belgium with the permission" of the judge, but will have to remain "available" to respond to any summons, he said.

Since the separatist leader fled to Belgium in late October 2017 after the failed secession of Catalonia, this is the third time Spain has issued a European Arrest Warrant for surrender.

He lives in Waterloo

On Friday morning, "he (the) received the notification, appeared before the judge and officially opposed his extradition to Spain," said his services in a statement issued in Brussels.

"President Puigdemont has pleaded his immunity as a member of the European Parliament," the same source added.

In this mandate for the Catalan leader, who lives in Waterloo south of Brussels, the Spanish justice aims the crimes of "sedition and embezzlement of public funds".

It is now for the Belgian justice to "check if the fact that is the basis of the European arrest warrant is an offense under Belgian law," said Tuesday the Brussels prosecutor in a statement.

"Given the complexity of the case and the two European arrest warrants previously issued against Carles Puigdemont, the case requires a thorough legal analysis," he argued.

On Tuesday, in addition to issuing the new European Arrest Warrant, the Supreme Court of Spain sentenced nine pro-independence leaders to prison terms ranging from nine to 13 years for Catalonia's bid for secession in 2017.

Former Regional Vice President Oriol Junqueras was given the heaviest sentence with 13 years in prison for sedition and embezzlement. (Afp / nxp)

Created: 18.10.2019, 12.30

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