Three deposed ministers in Brussels court to testify in extradition case
Judge will decide whether allow Comín, Serret and Puig to walk free or not while decision is made
The deposed ministers Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig have entered the court offices in Brussels on Thursday morning in order to testify before an examining judge over the European arrest warrants issued against them. The judge will decide whether to impose precautionary measures against them while a final decision on their extradition case is made.
The Brussels Prosecutor’s office has previously stated that there is “no risk of escape” and that the three leaders “are at the disposal of the Belgian justice.”
It’s the second time that the Belgian judiciary has to decide on the extradition of the pro-independence leaders. The Spanish Supreme Court withdrew the previous European Arrest Warrant last December, over concerns that the Belgian judges’ criteria might interfere with the case at the national level. Last time, the Belgian judge allowed them to walk free with measures while a decision was to be made. However, as the warrant was withdrawn by Spain, the Belgian judge never came to announce a final decision on their cases.
Comín, Serret and Puig have been in Belgium since last October, when they left the country after the parliament declared independence and Spain stripped Catalonia of its autonomy, sacking the government. They were with the dismissed president Carles Puigdemont, currently held in custody in Germany, also waiting for a final verdict to be made by the German judicial on whether he should be extradited to Spain or not.