Belgium to decide on rapper's extradition case November 6

The East Flanders prosecutor has appealed the Belgian court decision to deny Valtònyc's extradition

Rapper Valtònyc (left) and his lawyer Simone Bekaert in Ghent, on October 2 2018 (by Natàlia Segura)
Rapper Valtònyc (left) and his lawyer Simone Bekaert in Ghent, on October 2 2018 (by Natàlia Segura) / ACN

ACN | Brussels

October 2, 2018 04:36 PM

November 6 is the date set for the Belgian court in Ghent to make a decision on whether it accepts or denies the appeal made by the East Flanders prosecutor regards the extradition request of rapper Valtònyc.

The artist's lawyer, Simone Bekaert, spoke to the press and divulged that they "used the same argument as [they] did in front of the court of first instance: namely that glorifying terrorism is not a crime in Belgium, there is no terrorism as such involved."

Regardless the decision taken by the Ghent court, either party could then appeal the response at the cassation court, the highest appeals court, in Brussels, which would then make a final call.  

Three and a half years over song lyrics

The rapper, born in Mallorca, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison last spring after being found guilty of glorifying terrorism, slander, and defamation of the crown in some of his songs’ lyrics.

One day before the deadline given to him to enter jail, the hip hop artist tweeted that he “would not make it easy” for the Spanish authorities to incarcerate him. “Disobeying is legitimate and obligatory against a fascist state,” he wrote. Soon afterwards, in May, it was reported he had left Spain.

On July 5, Belgium already granted the artist provisional freedom. Then, September 17, it rejected the extradition against Valtònyc arguing it was a case of freedom of speech. This drew criticism of Belgium's very judiciary system by Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell who claimed "there have always been problems" regards extradition cases.