Belgian court postpones Puigdemont decision


A Belgium court has postponed a hearing on the extradition of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his allies.

Spain is due to hold fresh elections in Catalonia on December 21, after the Madrid government took control of the Catalan generalitat and sacked its ministers.

Prior to the hearing, it had been reported that lawyers for the Catalan separatists would say Lamela's arrest warrant was "very badly formulated" and express doubt that the charges laid out in the warrant correspond to Belgian law.

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The Belgian government has steadfastly said it can not intervene in Spain's extradition request because it is up to the independent judiciary to make a decision. "So nothing has been decided today", he said.

Spain said the Catalan government members - who are being sought for rebellion, sedition and embezzlement - would be incarcerated at the modern Estremera prison outside Madrid.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium after leading the October 1 Catalan independence referendum, and Spanish authorities have issued warrants calling for his arrest on charges of "rebellion".

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The Belgian government has steadfastly said that it can't intervene in Spain's extradition request since it's up to the country's independent judiciary to make a decision.

Given this, he said "from me you will not hear, no matter what happens, anything but respect for and compliance of the decisions of the judicial tribunals" in the extradition case. Friday's court decision can still be appealed. Instead the two leaders discussed Belgium's candidacy for an European Union top police chief and the upcoming relocation of European Union agencies from Britain, among other issues.

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