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Belgian court rejects Spanish extradition bid for 3 Catalans

May 16, 2018

Newly appointed Catalan president Quim Torra, right, holds a yellow ribbon in support of Catalonian politicians who have been jailed on charges of sedition, at the end of a parliamentary vote session in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, May 14, 2018. Catalan lawmakers have ended a half-year power vacuum by electing in a close vote secession enthusiast Quim Torra as the new regional chief, a controversial figure for the unionist opposition. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian court has rejected a Spanish request for the extradition of three Catalan separatist leaders.

The court ruling was the latest in a series of legal disputes between Spain and Belgium, where former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and five others took refuge last year fearing they would face imprisonment at home.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the court rejected the extradition request for the three because there were no corresponding Spanish arrest orders. Prosecutors say that Spain can’t appeal the decision.

Puigdemont is now in Germany fighting extradition to Spain, where he is wanted for allegedly using public funds and orchestrating an “insurrection” to get the wealthy northeastern region around Barcelona to break away from Spain.

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