The Ghent Court of Appeal in Belgium will announce the final decision on the extradition of Catalan Countries’ rapper Valtònyc on May 17, after re-examining his case.
The same court had already rejected his extradition last December, arguing that the crimes for which he was convicted in Spain – inciting terrorism, insults to the crown, and threats – did not fit within the Belgian penal code, an essential situation for the execution of an extradition order. However, the Belgian Court of Cassation scheduled another trial after an appeal was filed by the prosecutors, who represent Spain’s interests. The reason being to analyze whether insults to the Spanish crown would be the same crime as insults to deputies, ministers, and officials.
Valtònyc : “I think it is interesting that a court of the European Union is debating what is happening in Spain in relation to its freedom of expression.”
The rapper’s case already motivated the annulment by the Constitutional Court of a law of 1847 that protected the Belgian king from insults. This happened after the Ghent Court of Appeal asked the Belgian Constitutional Court whether the law of Lèse-majesté was constitutional, arguing that it did not respect freedom of expression.
In the hypothetical case that Belgian justice agrees on the extradition of Valtonyc, Spain could only make him comply with the sentence for the crime of insults to the crown.