Belgian court confirms freedom of expression

The citizens exiled by the imposition of Spanish justice in the Catalan political cause, as is the case of the rapper Valtònyc, seem to be winning in Europe. In May, a Euro-order was rejected as defective. In July, in an unexpected turn of events, Germany did not accept the idea of rebellion in charges against Carles Puigdemont, triggering the withdrawal of arrest warrants for all the exiled politicians. Now, the young Menorcan rapper, Josep Miquel Arenas, alias Valtònyc, adds another victory and a defeat for the Spanish courts.

Valtònyc has won a judicial battle, but the war continues. His sentence to three and a half years imprisonment by a Spanish court for writing songs of apology of terrorism, corruption and threats held no sway in the Belgian court as such crimes do not exist in that penal code. The singer’s defence termed his lyrics as “atypical” but always within the concept of freedom of expression and “ none ... had any criminal content” according to Gonzálo Boye.

While the extradition has been turned down, the court has still to publish its ruling which will cite the reasons for not supporting the warrant. The prosecutor has already filed an appeal against this denial and, therefore, the case will now pass to the Appeals Chamber. That court has 30 days to rule.

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