Belgian Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Marie-Christine Marghem has rejected the possibility of providing asylum to Carles Puigdemont as there is no threat to his life or basis to accept him. She added that the issue of granting asylum to the former Catalan leader would be examined in court if such request from Puigdemont was filed. The minister stressed that the Belgian government "in no case should interfere into affairs of a sovereign country, which functions on a democratic basis."
On Thursday, Carles Puigdemont didn't appear at Spain's National Court to answer questions of the prosecutors who initiated a rebellion case against him. Now a Spanish judge is mulling the possibility of issuing an international arrest warrant for him. Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer says that the former Catalan president would fight extradition without seeking political asylum.
Nine former leaders of the Catalan government were jailed the day before which fueled new protests in Barcelona on Thursday night.
After the Catalan parliament voted in favor of secession from Spain last week following the contested independence referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on the rebellious region, dissolved the parliament and removed Puigdemont and his Cabinet. However, the ousted Catalan leader refused to recognize the dismissal of the government and called for "democratic resistance" to direct rule by Madrid.