Belgian court rejects Spanish extradition bid for 3 Catalans

Belgian court rejects Spanish extradition bid for 3 Catalans

A Belgian court has rejected a Spanish request for the extradition of three Catalan separatist leaders. During a visit to Bulgaria, he said: "No independence has happened, no republic has come into being, nor will it".

The three former Catalan regional councilors residing in Belgium - Toni Comin, Meritxell Serret and Lluis Puig - face charges in Spain including disobedience, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

"The council chamber shares the view of the public prosecutor and the defence that there are no valid underlying national laws corresponding to the content of the European arrest warrants", it added. The spat over Catalonia's future has brought Spain's worst political crisis in decades. Last month, a Berlin court refused to extradite Puigdemont on the main charge of rebellion that Madrid levels against him. The Spanish government says it can not grant Catalonia independence, among other reasons, because the Constitution says Spain is "indivisible". Madrid dismissed the regional government following the declaration and jailed some Catalan politicians, who stayed in the country. He was arrested while travelling in Germany.

Fervent Catalan secessionist Quim Torra has been sworn in because the restive Spanish area's new chief, along with his calls for for an unbiased Catalonia set to lengthen a standoff with Spain's nationwide authorities.

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