Catalan ex-leader, ministers due in Belgian court Nov 17

 06 Nov 2017 - 15:38

Catalan ex-leader, ministers due in Belgian court Nov 17
Carles Puigdemont gestures inside the public prosecutor's office in Brussels, on November 5, 2017. AFP /NICOLAS MAETERLINCK


Brussels: Catalonia's sacked separatist leader Carles Puigdemont and four former ministers are due to appear November 17 in a Belgian court which is hearing Spain's case for their extradition, a judicial source said Monday.

The source told AFP the five would appear at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) on November 17 in a Brussels court, their first hearing since the Belgian authorities freed them on bail Sunday.

Belgian prosecutors had said on Sunday that the five had to appear in court within 15 days of their release.

Belgium has 60 days to decide whether to send them back to Spain, under the rules of the European arrest warrant system.

Puigdemont and his colleagues -- Meritxell Serret, Antoni Comin, Lluis Puig and Clara Ponsati -- have the right to appeal against being sent back to Spain.

The five handed themselves in on Sunday morning in response to a warrant issued by a Spanish judge.

"Released without bail. Our thoughts are with colleagues unjustly imprisoned by a state that is far from democratic norms," Puigdemont said on Twitter on Monday in his first comment since then.