FILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 file picture, ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont smiles after a press convention in Brussels. Puigdemont says he is able to run for re-election in December and could be ready to run his marketing campaign from Belgium, the place he’s in hiding. (Olivier Matthys, File/Associated Press)
By Raf Casert and Joseph Wilson | AP By Raf Casert and Joseph Wilson | AP November 5 at four:44 AM
BRUSSELS — Belgian state prosecutors on Sunday had been inspecting worldwide arrest warrants issued by Spain for the ousted chief of Catalonia and different members of his disbanded Cabinet.
Carles Puigdemont and 4 of his ex-ministers fled to Belgium this previous week after being faraway from energy by Spanish authorities as a part of a unprecedented crackdown to impede the area’s unlawful declaration of independence.
Federal prosecutors in Belgium mentioned on Saturday that they had been finding out the warrants and that they’d shared them with metropolis counterparts in Brussels.
A Spanish National Court decide issued warrants for the 5 separatist politicians on suspicion of insurrection, insurrection and embezzlement on Friday, a day after the identical decide despatched one other eight former Catalan Cabinet members to jail with out bail whereas her investigation continues. A ninth spent an evening in jail and was freed after posting bail.
Puigdemont wrote in Dutch in his Twitter account on Saturday that he’s “prepared to fully cooperate with Belgian justice following the European arrest warrant issued by Spain.”
However, Puigdemont’s lawyer in Brussels had beforehand mentioned that his shopper plans to battle extradition to Spain with out requesting political asylum.
Legal consultants consulted by The Associated Press estimate that the method from arrest to extradition, together with appeals, might take so long as two months earlier than Puigdemont could be despatched again to Spain.
That delay might give Puigdemont time to affect, and even take part albeit from afar, within the snap regional election known as by Spain’s authorities for Catalonia on Dec. 21.
While Puigdemont stays absconded in Europe’s capital, again in northeastern Spain political forces are hurriedly jockeying for place to begin a marketing campaign that guarantees to be as bitter as it’s decisive to Spain’s worst institutional disaster in almost 4 a long time.
While pro-union events attempt to rally badist to win again management of the regional parliament in Barcelona, pro-secession events are debating whether or not or to not type one grand coalition for the upcoming poll.
Parties have till Tuesday to register as coalitions or they need to run individually. Puigdemont weighed in on the controversy Saturday, backing his center-right Democratic Party of Catalonia’s push to type one pro-secession bloc.
Joseph Wilson reported from Barcelona, Spain.
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