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Judge will say ‘no’ to extradition if hesitant, prestigious Belgian lawyer says

Denis Bosquet claims that prosecutor rejecting charges of corruption for Puigdemont and his four Catalan ministers in Brussels is a sign of the international arrest warrant’s “weakness”

 

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23 November 2017 12:57 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Carles Puigdemont and his four ministers in Brussels are waiting for the Belgian justice to decide on their extradition, requested by Spain’s National Court. But it could well be rejected, as Belgian lawyer Denis Bosquet told the Catalan News Agency (ACN). Indeed, he said that the judge in charge of the case will have to decide whether the crimes that the Catalan officials are accused of have an equivalent in Belgium. “If he has any doubts regarding this, he’s going to say no,” stated Bosquet, who is one of the most prestigious criminal lawyers in the central European country.

He also said that a debate on whether charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of funds have any Belgian equivalents is expected to take place, in which the defense and the prosecutor will be involved. The judge will have to “reflect”, according to Bosquet, because the prosecutor’s proposals are far from the 30 years in prison for the rebellion crime provided by Spanish law. 

What the lawyer also claimed is that, for the defense, the fact that the prosecutor has ruled out the crime of “corruption” in Puigdemont and his cabinet’s actions “might be a good sign." At the same time, it might also show the “weakness” of the Spanish international arrest warrant itself, which included this crime in their accusation. The extradition is quicker when a case involves corruption.

For the Catalan government members, the Belgian prosecution proposes the crimes of misuse of public funds, which carries up to 10 years in prison in Belgium, and peaceful rejection of orders by civil servants or elected members, which may lead to 6 months in jail. Bosquet said the latter “has nothing to do” with what the Spanish prosecution charges them with. 

 

 

 

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  • The prestigious Belgian lawyer Denis Bosquet, during his interview with ACN

  • The prestigious Belgian lawyer Denis Bosquet, during his interview with ACN