brussels - The court in Brussels is considering Friday's extradition to Spain of the former Catalan Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont and four of his ex-ministers. They left Belgium at the end of last month after their government was deported because it had unlawfully declared independence.
The Brussels Council Chamber will meet behind closed doors from 14.00 to decide on the European arrest warrant issued by Madrid. Normally, the same day will follow a statement. Spanish media reported Thursday to suspect that there is no decision on Friday. The Belgian judiciary has requested additional information in Spain, including the allegations and the conditions in prisons in Spain.
If the judges decide to surrender, as is called extradition within the EU, there are several possibilities for appeal. Puigdemonts Belgian lawyer has already announced that he will most probably use it.
The advisers of the Catalans believe that Belgium would cooperate in a political process on extradition. According to them, the former ministers did not commit crimes, but made democratic decisions.
Earlier, the court ruled that five people are not allowed to leave Belgium, must have a permanent residence address and must remain available to the Belgian judicial authorities and the police.