Extradition decision for exiled rapper on September 17
Defense for hip hop artist Valtònyc, currently awaiting a ruling in Belgium, expressed “optimism”
A Belgian judge has announced a date when rapper Valtònyc can expect a decision on his extradition order from Spain: September 17. The announcement was made following a hearing in Ghent on September 3.
Meanwhile, the defense for musician Josep Miquel Arenas, his real name, has stated they are “optimistic.” Attorney Simon Bekaert evaluated the hearing positively, as they feel that the conditions to carry out the extradition order are not met.
Prosecution does not see terrorism in actions
The actions for which Valtònyc was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in Spain “do not constitute a crime in Belgium,” explained Bekaert.
The Belgian prosecution has already advanced that they do not see the crime of terrorism in Valtònyc’s case, also argued by the hip-hop artist’s defense.
“If you want to threaten someone, you don’t write them a song,” says Valtònyc
In an interview with Catalan broadcaster TV3, Valtonyc expressed satisfaction at the Belgian justice system and his treatment, additionally faulting that of Spain for accusing him of terrorism and being “politicized.”
"If you want to threaten someone, you don't write them a song,"
Valtònyc · sentenced rapper
Regards the charges of making threats, Valtònyc further argued in the interview that “if you want to threaten someone, you don’t write them a song.”
This is no ordinary extradition case, says rapper's lawyer
Attorney Bekaert also explained that the case bears weight in an international context, saying that "it's clear" that this is not an "ordinary" extradition case, arguing that it deals with issues like "human rights" and "freedom of expression" in all of Europe.
The lawyer further stressed that this is not "just Spain," that this decision will "have its effect on the whole extradition system in Europe."
The rapper was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in Spain after being charged with glorifying terrorism and slander in some song lyrics, which made references to the police and the King of Spain.
Yet, a day before he was due to enter prison, it became clear that Valtònyc had absconded and was no longer in Spain. On July 5, he held his first public press conference from Belgium, where on the same day a Flemish judge released him on conditional bail while his case was reviewed.
The artist argues that while his rap songs always tried to be "provocative," they were also always part of his "art" and "performances."