The Belgian Prosecutor’s Office examines the Euro arrest warrants for Comín, Serret and Puig


Politics

Catalonia

Agencies | Drafting

The Brussels Prosecutor’s Office, which has asked the Spanish Supreme Court for more information to make a decision, considers that there is no risk of flight.

The Brussels Prosecutor’s Office reported today that it is in contact with the lawyers of the former Catalan councilors -Toni Comín, Lluís Puig and Meritxell Serret- who are in Belgium and considers that there is no risk of flight, so he has not requested their arrest.

The Public Ministry has confirmed in a statement that it is in contact with the lawyers of the three pro-independence politicians and that they have told them that “their clients are at the disposal of the Belgian justice.”

“For that reason and since there is no obvious risk of leakage, Mrs. Serret, and Messrs. Comín and Puig are not actively wanted, “the prosecution added in its statement.

The Brussels Prosecutor’s Office has indicated that has requested “additional information” from the Spanish judicial authorities through Eurojust (the body for judicial cooperation of the European Union) but did not specify what specific information it is.

Likewise, he has communicated that the former Catalan councilors have not yet appeared before a Belgian investigating judge although “it is possible that this will be the case in the near future”, although he has refused to “anticipate” how the procedure will continue.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the Belgian capital has recalled that this procedure is not the continuation of the one opened in November when the National Court issued for the first time the European arrest warrants against them, but a new one based on the Euro-orders issued last week by the Supreme Court Spanish.

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The Belgian Public Ministry has not informed about the next steps in the procedure and has limited itself to indicating that it will inform if a “significant evolution” takes place.

The procedure from now on

The Prosecutor’s Office, once it receives the information requested from Spain, could summon the former counselors to testify before an investigating judge.

In that case, they should first appear before the police authorities – although according to the sources this could be a very short procedure – and then be heard by the judge.

If the former councilors do not accept their delivery to Spain, the judge must decide within 24 hours if they should be detained or if they can be released with or without precautionary measures while the case is resolved.

If the pattern followed in November is repeated, the investigating judge must set a date for the hearing of the case in the Brussels Council Chamber (investigating court), which will have 15 days to decide whether to extradite them or not.

Against this decision it is possible to appeal before the Court of Appeal and, later, before the Court of Cassation, both of which will have fifteen days to decide.

According to the procedure that governs Euroorders – which allow the simplified execution of arrest warrants for one EU country by another – countries have a total of 60 days from arrest of the people wanted to decide on its delivery, a period that can be extended to 90 days in exceptional circumstances.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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