The president Carles Puigdemont is found in Brussels, has confirmed the Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert. VRT, the flamenco public channel, had already anticipated that Puigdemont planned to meet with “lawyers and policy makers” in the Belgian capital.
Bekaert confirmed today that he has been appointed “adviser” by the president. Bekaert has experience in euro-order processes as he was also a lawyer for the alleged ETA member Natividad Jauregi, which Belgium refused to hand over. He is also an expert in human rights and asylum requests.
“I have personally spoken with him. The conversation took place in Belgium, but I cannot say anything about it,” the lawyer told the Flemish channel VRT. Bekaert added that Puigdemont has asked him to “defend his interests in Belgium in the future.”
Along with Puigdemont are the dismissed directors Joaquim Forn, Meritxell Borràs, Meritxell Serret, Dolors Bassa Y Antoni Comin, who have come by car from Catalonia to Marseille and from there by plane to Brussels.
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The trip, which he has advanced on his website El Periódico de Catalunya, It has been confirmed just an hour after the State Attorney General, José Manuel Maza, announced the presentation of a complaint before the National Court for rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against him and the rest of the Government, as well as another complaint before the Supreme Court against the table of the Parlament.
This morning, Puigdemont, who was dismissed by the Spanish Executive as Catalan president, has published on the Instagram network two photos taken from an interior patio of the Palau de la Generalitat, although it did not clarify whether the photographs were taken today or were captured previously.
The sources consulted they have not explained what the purpose of this trip isAlthough yesterday the Belgian Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Theo Francken, from the Flemish independence party N-VA, suggested on his Twitter account that Puigdemont can request “political asylum” in Belgium.
However, neither the Belgian federal government nor the Flanders executive wanted to comment, according to Europa Press. “They are rumors”, they have said from N-VA.
A possibility that the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, immediately dismissed, who assured that asylum for the president “is not at all on the agenda of his government.”
The newspaper The vanguard ensures that the delegation of dismissed members of the Generalitat could make a joint appearance from the community capital. Apparently, such an appearance could take place tomorrow.
While Carles Puigdemont is in Brussels, the dismissed vice president of the Generalitat, Oriol Junqueras, has come to his office at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and has participated in meetings of ERC and JxSí.
Both the Belgian Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon, of the Flemish nationalist party N-VA, and that political party, have distanced themselves from Carles Puigdemont’s visit to Brussels
Necessary “serious signs of persecution”
Dirk Van den Bulcke, Belgian Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, has said that “serious signs of persecution” or “risks” are necessary in the country of origin for the Belgian State to grant asylum to a European citizen.
“There must be serious signs of persecution but, even in the case of persecution, there must be an impossibility of obtaining protection in the country,” he clarified on RTL television.
Belgium is one of the few European states that provides an asylum procedure for citizens of the European Union.
The Immigration Office receives the applications and forwards them to the General Commissariat for Refugees and Stateless Persons, which has five days to make a decision that cannot be appealed. The institution can dismiss the petition “if it is not clear from the applicant’s statement that he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution or is at real risk of serious harm.”
In the last ten years, Roma minorities in Slovakia and Romania have used this procedure, although they have not received a positive response.
Lluís Llach speaks of “exile”
The singer-songwriter Lluís Llach, a former member of parliament for Junts pel Sí, referred to Carles Puigdemont as “President of the Catalan Republic in exile“, and refers to the trip to Brussels as a” complaint “against the state.
The MHP of the exiled Republic is a denunciation against Ñ before the European, international estates and serves us the dignity of the 1 Oct.
– Lluís Llach (@lluis_llach) October 30, 2017