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Extradition hearings for three exiled leaders in Belgium to be held on December 16

Judge accepts unifying cases of former ministers Comín and Puig with that of former president Puigdemont

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15 November 2019 10:38 AM

by

ACN | Brussels

The extradition hearings for all three Catalan political leaders in Belgium facing European arrest warrants will be held on December 16.

A Brussels judge accepted unifying the cases of former ministers, Toni Comín and Lluís Puig, with that of former president, Carles Puigdemont, and to consider them all together in mid-December.

During a hearing on Comín and Puig on Friday, the judge accepted the defenses' request to merge the three procedures.

It is the third time the two former ministers have faced an extradition request by Spain over their role in the 2017 independence bid, with the first being withdrawn by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2017, and the second rejected by Belgium due to "procedural defects" and "irregularities."

Puigdemont is also facing Spain's third attempt to extradite him, with the first warrant withdrawn in December 2017, and the second accepted by Germany but only for misuse of funds and not rebellion. However, Madrid did not accept those charges and again ended up withdrawing its European arrest warrant.

Extradition timetable

On November 25, Comín and Puig's defense will hand their arguments against the extradition to the Brussels judges, with the public prosecutor doing the same by December 5.

Their hearing will take place on December 16, only four days after that of former minister Clara Ponsatí in Scotland.

So far, Spain's judiciary has not issued any further extradition requests for former minister Meritxell Serret, who is also in Brussels, or former MPs Marta Rovira and Anna Gabriel, who are in Switzerland.

Puigdemont and Comín face charges of sedition and misuse of public funds, while Puig is charged with misuse of public funds and disobedience, with Ponsatí facing extradition for sedition.

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  • Former cabinet members Lluís Puig, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín in Waterloo, Belgium, on October 1, 2019 (by Natàlia Segura)

  • Former cabinet members Lluís Puig, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín in Waterloo, Belgium, on October 1, 2019 (by Natàlia Segura)

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