November 5, 2017 / 1:30 PM / 15 days ago

Belgian judge to decide on ex Catalan leader arrest warrant by Monday

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian judge will decide by Monday on Spain’s arrest warrant for sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his associates after they turned themselves in to Belgian police, a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors said on Sunday.

Brussels Prosecutor spokesman, Gilles Dejemeppe, gestures during a news conference at Prosecutor Office in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

On Friday, Spain handed over to Belgian prosecutors the warrant for rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust relating to Catalonia’s independence campaign for Puigdemont and four of his associates.

“This morning the five people wanted by Spain presented themselves to police in Brussels. They were put in custody at 9.17 this morning,” prosecutor spokesman Gilles Dejemeppe told a news conference.

“The judge will hear the people this afternoon. He has until tomorrow morning to decide,” he said, without naming the people.

If the judge decides to issue an arrest warrant on the basis of the Spanish request, the case then goes to a court which must decide within 15 days whether to execute the order.

Puigdemont can appeal at various stages of the proceedings, a process which can take many weeks.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, writing by Foo Yun Chee

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