The Belgian Justice has decided to release the president under precautionary measures Carles Puigdemont and his four dismissed councilors.
No one will be able to leave Belgium without permission. After the hearings held at the headquarters of the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office, the Belgian investigating judge also imposed on the five the obligation to communicate a residence address and personally attend each of the hearings to which they are summoned. The judge now has up to fifteen days to reconvene them in the Brussels court of first instance, which will decide on the Euro delivery order that weighs on them sent by the Spanish justice, confirmed the Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
Puigdemont and the consellers who were still in Belgium have voluntarily presented themselves at a Belgian police station this Sunday morning, as confirmed by the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office. The president and the dismissed councilors would seek in this way paralyze the processing of your arrest, and the image of wanting to avoid the action of the Belgian justice. Puigdemont and the councilors have been accompanied by their lawyers.
The spokesman for the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office, Gilles Dejemeppe, has offered a press conference where he has confirmed that this Sunday at 09:17 hours Puigdemont and the four dismissed councilors have appeared voluntarily at a police station in the center of Brussels.
Press conference of the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office. Photo: EFE
“We have had regular contacts with the lawyers of the five people and an appointment was made this morning at the Federal Police station on Royal Street. The five have arrived accompanied by their lawyers and have been notified that they were deprived of liberty and (the content) of the European order “, Dejemeppe explained.
From this police station, close to the Palace of Justice and the local and federal Prosecutor’s Office, the five arrested They have been later transferred to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in a police van, as indicated by the spokesman for the Public Ministry, who has said he did not know if they were handcuffed, but has warned that it is not usually the case when people do not pose a risk to the agents who accompany them.
Throughout Sunday afternoon, President Puigdemont and the four dismissed councilors have gone to court and have declared in front of the judge in a unit of the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office in Brussels.
The judge “has only ruled on the freedom” of Puigdemont and the dismissed councilors, since the Euroorder “background” must be examined by the Council Chamber (Court of first instance), the spokesperson has warned.
The Council Chamber has 15 days to make a decision. The parties may appeal the decision first before the Court of Appeal, which will also have 15 days to pronounce, and, ultimately, before the Court of Cassation, which has the same period to make the final decision.
The Euroorder establishes a maximum period of 60 days to resolve extradition processes between two member states, a period that could be extended by another 30 days, up to 90 days, in exceptional cases.
‘Held’, not ‘stopped’
The environment of the pro-independence politician in Brussels has specified to the media that his interpretation of the legal situation of Puigdemont is that he is not detained, but “at the disposal” of the Belgian authoritiesAn attitude that “is part of his desire not to evade the action of Justice, but simply to defend himself in a fair and impartial procedure.”
For his part, Puigdemont’s lawyer in Belgium, Paul Bekaert, arrived this Sunday at the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office, after 1:30 p.m. Bekaert is also the legal advisor to the four dismissed councilors who accompany him: Meritxell Serret, Toni Comín, Lluís Puig and Clara Ponsantí.
The lawyer has not wanted to make statements to the media that are in the Prosecutor’s Office.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.