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Third European arrest warrant for Catalan officials abroad ‘likely’ says lawyer

Belgium has already rejected extraditing Toní Comin, Meritxell Serret, and Lluís Puig

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16 May 2018 08:21 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The defence lawyer of the deposed MPs Toní Comin, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig has said it is “very likely” the Spanish judiciary will issue a third arrest warrant against them. This, after Belgium rejected Spain’s request for their extradition.

Belgium rejected extraditing three deposed Catalan ministers wanted by Spain. A Belgian judge dismissed on Tuesday the European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain for Lluís Puig, Toni Comín and Meritxell Serret. In a hearing in Brussels, the prosecutor and the defense agreed that the extradition request had “procedural defects” and “irregularities”, and was therefore rejected. 

The reason is that there was no arrest warrant in Spain issued for them, something mandatory for an EU arrest warrant to be taken into consideration. 

"Belgium rejects extraditing Catalan ministers in exile to Spain. This is good news that shows that in Europe rights are guaranteed beyond political opinions," said deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont from Berlin. 

The lawyers of the Catalan leaders had explained the irregularities in the European Arrest Warrant to the judge , something that the Brussels prosecutor had also detected. In fact, the attorneys said that the Spanish Supreme Court was warned of these "defects" but the Spanish judge refused to correct them. That is why both parties agreed the case could not go forward and should be dismissed by the judge, as was done today. 

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