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    Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont gestures while delivering a speech to Catalan mayors in Brussels, Belgium, November 7, 2017.

    Belgium Court to Examine Spain Request to Extradite Catalan Ministers on Friday

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    A Brussels court is expected to decide on Friday whether sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four former ministers should be extradited to Spain.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — A Brussels court may rule Friday whether to extradite sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four former ministers to Spain where they are wanted on charges of sedition and rebellion.

    Catalonia’s separatist officials are in Belgium after fleeing Spain over a failed push for the region’s independence that started with a banned vote on a split from Spain on October 1.

    Madrid issued arrest warrants for the fugitive Catalan ministers two weeks ago. Puigdemont said he would return voluntarily if he were guaranteed a fair trial. His lawyers argued this was unlikely. Charges against him carry a jail term of more than 50 years.

    The Brussels court will hold the hearing behind closed doors. The decision may come Friday or be put off for 15 days upon request. If judges rule in favor of the extradition, Puigdemont and his allies will have a right to appeal.

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