Belgian court Warrants Go to extradite ex-Catalan minister

BRUSSELS — A Belgian court on Friday refused Spain’s need to have a former high heeled politician from the area of Catalonia extradited, in yet another set back to the nation’s attempts to attempt several officials at exile within their alleged roles in an independence referendum which Madrid branded as prohibited.

The Brussels prosecutor’s office said the court had determined to not enforce the European arrest warrant for former culture minister Lluis Puig about the grounds that”the Spanish government who issued the warrant aren’t able to do so.”

Puig was living in exile in Belgium because he, former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont plus lots of the partners fled to Belgium in October 2017, fearing arrest within their alleged roles in the secessionist push along with also the carrying of an independence referendum the Spanish authorities had prohibited.

The vote triggered a police crackdown and contributed to one of Spain’s largest political disasters in decades since mass protests roiled the comparatively wealthy temperate region of 7.5 million people. Polls and current elections demonstrate that Catalans are approximately evenly split by the secession question.

Puig’s attorneys had argued that Spain’s Supreme Court doesn’t possess the authority to judge him that only a Catalan court can do so, and he stated the Belgian court agreed together.

Lawyer Paul Bekaert told colleagues the Spanish constitution only allows the nation’s Supreme Court to issue this type of arrest warrant when it concerns members of parliament. He underlined that Puig hasn’t been a lawmaker.

The prosecutor’s office is mulling whether to allure the Brussels court judgment.

It is the next time that a European arrest warrant against exiled Catalan politicians continues to be rejected.

“Political problems have to be solved in a political manner rather than a juridical way. Political adversaries have to be scrapped at parliaments and the media, in public forums, rather than at the justice team,” he explained. “We shouldn’t export our political issues from Spain to other nations of Europe.”

They’ve been elected to the European Parliament and have some protection against prosecution, however, the meeting is still weighing whether to raise their immunity.