Belgium minister: No politics in Puigdemont arrest warrant

BRUSSELS — Belgium’s justice minister says his authorities could have no affect over the way forward for ousted Catalan chief Carles Puigdemont after Spain issued a European warrant for his arrest.

Puigdemont and a number of other aides fled to Belgium after they have been fired by Spanish authorities taking management of Catalonia after lawmakers there voted to declare independence from Spain.

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens says the European arrest warrant “is a completely legal procedure.”

He mentioned, not like a traditional worldwide extradition, “the executive power does not play any role in the EAW procedure. Everything goes through direct contact between the justice authorities.”

Puigdemont says he’s prepared to cooperate with the Belgian judiciary however that he’s misplaced confidence in Spanish justice, which he says has change into politicized. Several former Catalan officers have already been jailed.

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