The former Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont and his Ministers, who are all wanted by the Spanish justice department, will remain in Belgium after the Catalonian elections on the 21st of December. His lawyer revealed this is because of requests for their extradition on Saturday.
“Whatever happens, they will be in Brussels until the 21st of December, and I believe it will be until mid-January in theory”, Jaume Alonso Cuevillas told the Catalonia radio station Rac1.
“I’m convinced that whatever happens there will be appeals” to stop Belgium sending them to Spain”, he explained.
The former President fled to Belgium with four of his Ministers after the Spanish government put Catalonia under tutorship when it declared independence on the 28th of October.
Along with the other Catalonian officials behind the independence attempt, Mr Puigdemont has been charged with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. After he left, the other members of the disbanded government were placed in preventative custody.
Mr Puigdemont is still the candidate for the regional elections, at the head of his own list. He says he will be reinstated as the “legitimate President” of the Catalonian government if he wins.
If he is victorious, Mr Puigdemont “has expressed his intention to be invested as the President of the Generalitat (Catalonian Executive), no matter what happens with the Belgian courts”, his lawyer added.
With regards to the planned audience with the Belgian justice department on Monday, when Spain will request the extradition of Mr Puigdemont, “we don’t know how long it will last, or if the people being charged will be asked to testify”, he said.