Belgium not to surrender Carles Puigdemont to Spain
A Belgian judge has blocked the surrender to Spain of the former Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont. Sr Puigdemont, a fervent Catalan nationalist, is wanted by the Spanish authorities on charges relating to sedition and misuse of public funds. Spain is seeking his surrender and a European arrest warrant has been issued.
The judge’s decision was taken after the European Court of Justice ruled that former Catalan minister Oriol Junqueras enjoyed immunity following his election to the European Parliament (EP). The Belgian judge has also suspended the arrest warrant against another former Catalan minister Antoni Comín. Like Carles Puigdemont Antoni Comín too was elected to the EP.
The Spanish authorities had applied to Belgium to surrender both Carles Puigdemont Antoni Comín, who have sought refuge here after they were ousted by Spain that judged the referendum on Catalan independence that they organised to be illegal.