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Belgian appeal court rejects extradition of convicted Spanish rapper -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A Spanish rapper Valtonyc is seen arguing with an anti-independence activist outside the location where Carles Puigdemont, Former President of Catalonia, held a press conference in Brussels.

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) – A Spanish singer convicted of praising terrorist organizations won a legal battle before a Belgian Court on Tuesday against the extradition request to Spain.

Valtonyc (real name Josep Miguel Arenas beltran) was sentenced in 2017 by a Spanish court for praising violence in Basque separatist group ETA.

Other charges against him included insulting Spain’s monarchy. After losing his appeal, Spain requested that he be extradited to Belgium.

International organizations such as Amnesty International have criticised the case, claiming that Spanish authorities are restricting free speech.

Dec., an Belgian court ruled that Valtonyc could not be extradited for the offences weren’t crimes according to Belgian law. Prosecutors appealed.

On Tuesday, the Ghent prosecutors stated that their case had been rejected by the Belgian appeal court. The prosecutors in Ghent said that they could appeal to the Supreme Court of Belgium.

Simon Bekaert, Valtonyc’s Belgian attorney, tweeted “Victory. Ghent Court of Appeal

Valtonyc posted a tweet in which he expressed his delight at the decision and said that he was able start again living.

Today was difficult. “I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he stated. He said, “The biggest fear of exile is to forget. However, this has not happened.”