News   /   EU

Belgian court once again postpones extradition hearing of ex-Catalan leaders

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont (R) arrives accompanied by Minister of Culture of Catalonia Lluis Puig at the courthouse for a hearing on a new European arrest warrant in Brussels on December 16, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Belgian court has once again postponed the extradition hearing of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former councilors Toni Comín and Lluís Puig until February.

The judges scheduled the new hearing for Puigdemont on February 3, 2020, at 2 pm, taking into account that the Luxembourg decision on former vice president Oriol Junqueras could also affect the former president, as both were elected MEPs in the last election, and both were barred from taking up their seats.

The court in Brussels set the new date so that the European Court of Justice could rule whether Puigdemont should be granted immunity after being elected as an EU lawmaker.

Now both 2017 referendum leaders seek to have their immunity granted arguing they have the right as elects even though Spain's judiciary did not allow them to take up their seats.

"The court has decided that is now first up to the European court in Luxemburg to clarify all the issues concerning the immunity questions because of the elections of the European Parliament," said Puigdemont’s lawyer Simon Bekaert, in front of the Belgian court.

Puigdemont was satisfied with the court’s decision to postpone the extradition hearing saying, "We understand that the decision of the court is logical, not to take any decisions before a pending decision so relevant that it could affect our immunity."

"Our lawyers have been doing very important work to ensure that what we've been defending from day one prevails: justice, where our rights are guaranteed."

"The decision on Thursday [on Junqueras] is very relevant for all the rights at stake," said Puigdemont, hoping his former second-in-command is released following the EU court ruling.

The Catalan independence leader now in exile in Waterloo is facing Spain's third attempt to extradite him for his role in the 2017 referendum after two previous failed attempts in Belgium and Germany.

He is requested to be handed in on charges of sedition and misuse of funds, like his former health minister, Toni Comín. Former culture minister Lluís Puig is facing a European arrest warrant for misuse of funds and disobedience.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku