Carles Puigdemont and four of his advisers went to the Belgian police and were placed in custody by the country’s public prosecutor’s office. The independence leader, who still presents himself as the legitimate president in exile of Catalonia, must meet a judge in the afternoon, this Sunday, November 5. His family and he will be officially informed of the arrest warrant issued against them by Madrid.
Carles Puigdemont, his advisers, and the Belgian courts wisely follow the procedure in the context of a European arrest warrant. They arrived at 9:17 – this Sunday, November 5 – at the courthouse. Not a coincidence: they had agreed in advance of an appointment with the Belgian Federal Police.
All five of them, Carles Puigdemont and four former members of the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya, all accompanied by their lawyer, arrived. They were immediately deprived of their liberty and taken to the courthouse.
They must now meet an investigating judge, announced the Belgian prosecutor. The magistrate has three choices. It may first decide to reject the European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain, an unlikely hypothesis for the moment because we imagine that Spain has taken its precautions in drafting it.
Then he must decide whether to keep the five Catalan politicians in detention or release them temporarily, that is to say on parole.
All this is very automatic. The five must decide if they want to accept this mandate or if they want to challenge it. In case of dispute, it is not 10 days for the transfer, but 60 days maximum.