No politics involved in Carles Puigdemont arrest warrant, says Belgian minister

Belgium's justice minister has said his government will have no influence over the future of ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont after Spain issued a European warrant for his arrest.

Mr Puigdemont and several aides fled to Belgium after they were fired by Spanish authorities taking control of Catalonia after politicians there voted to declare independence from Spain.

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said the European Arrest Warrant "is a completely legal procedure".

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He said that, unlike a normal international extradition, "the executive power does not play any role in the EAW procedure. Everything goes through direct contact between the justice authorities."

Mr Puigdemont has said he is willing to co-operate with the Belgian judiciary but that he has lost confidence in Spanish justice, which he says has become politicised. Several former Catalan officials have already been jailed.

- AP

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