Catalan leader Puigdemont and his 4 Ministers released in Brussels
Ousted Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont and four former ministers have been released from custody by a Belgian prosecutor on conditions after they turned themselves in to Belgian police.
Brussels prosecutors said all five were taken into custody to start the process of their possible extradition to Spain.
They had fled to Belgium this week after being removed from power by Spanish authorities as part of an extraordinary crackdown to impede the region’s illegal declaration of independence.
“This morning the five people wanted by Spain presented themselves to police in Brussels. They were put in custody at 9.17 this morning,” Gilles Dejemeppe, a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors, told a news conference.
“The judge will hear the people this afternoon. He has until tomorrow morning to decide.”
If the judge decides to issue an arrest warrant on the basis of the Spanish request, the case then goes to a court which must decide within 15 days whether to execute the order.
Mr Puigdemont can appeal at various stages of the proceedings, a process which can take many weeks.
The delay could give Mr Puigdemont time to participate, albeit from afar and in largely a symbolic capacity, in the snap regional election called by Spain’s government for Catalonia on 21 December.
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