Extradition ruling concerning ousted Catalan leader expected on December 14

Extradition ruling concerning ousted Catalan leader expected on December 14

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Spanish Referendum, Catalonia, Carles Puidemont
Catalonia Independence Leader Carles Puigdemont

Catalonia’s ousted president Carles Puigdemont and four of his separatist allies should learn whether they can be extradited from Belgium to Spain on December 14, lawyers have said.

The expected date of the ruling comes exactly one week before key regional elections in Catalonia in which they are all running for re-election.

The group is refusing to return to Spain to face rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges that can be punished with decades in prison under the country’s criminal laws.

Mr Puigdemont’s defence lawyer, Paul Bekaert, said on Monday the prosecutor sought the extradition of the five but Mr Bekaert insisted that the Spanish charges are not punishable in Belgium and thus were no grounds for extradition.

“We also highlighted the danger for the impediment of their human rights in Spain,” he said.

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