Saturday, November 27

Belgium stops the possibility of extraditing rapper Valtònyc


The Belgian Constitutional Court stops the possibility of extraditing the rapper Valtònyc.
EFE

The Belgian Constitutional Court ruled this Thursday that a law of this country of 1847 that punished injuries to the Crown It is now contrary to the Belgian Magna Carta, so it cannot be used to justify the delivery to Spain of the rapper Josep Miquel Arenas, alias Valtònyc.

“Article 1 of the law of April 6, 1847 ‘on the repression of crimes against the King ‘ violates article 19 of the Constitution, “said the Constitutional Court, thus responding to a question posed by the Ghent (Belgium) Court of Appeal, which must decide on the Euroorder issued against Valtònyc by the Spanish National Court.

The Court of Appeal wanted to know if, according to that nineteenth-century law, offenses against the king should be considered a crime and, therefore, it is possible to extradite Valtònyc to Spain at exist double criminality provided for in the euro order that the National Court issued in 2018 against the rapper.

“Victoria. The Constitutional Court has abolished the criminal law of lese majesty declaring it contrary to freedom of expression. A historic step for the Belgian internal legal order and good news for the Valtonyc extradition case “wrote the rapper’s lawyer, Simon Bekaert, on social media

The singer fled to Belgium in 2018, after the National audience sentenced him to three and a half years in prison for the crimes of insults to the crown, glorification of terrorism and humiliation of the victims for the lyrics of some songs he wrote in 2012.

In this way, the singer did not enter jail and the judicial authorities Spanish companies issued a European search and arrest warrant on which the court of first instance of Ghent already ruled in 2018, rejecting the delivery considering that the lyrics of their songs are framed within the freedom of expression.

The Belgian prosecutor’s office appealed that sentence before the Court of Appeal, which will hold the next hearing on the case on November 23, already with the response of the Belgian Constitutional Court.

The Court of Appeal has been analyzing the case for three years, which has been delayed by the pandemic, for your question to the Constitutional and for a preliminary ruling that he referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

In your question to the court based in Luxembourg, the Court of Appeal wanted to know if, when analyzing the extradition, it should compare the Belgian penal code with the Spanish of 2015 -the one that was in force when the National Court issued the Euroorder- or with that of 2012 -the one that existed when Valtònyc wrote the songs.

According to the CJEU, the 2012 one should be taken into account, which provides only a maximum prison sentence two years for the crime of glorifying terrorism, unlike in 2015, which raises the penalty to three years.

The difference is important, because it prevented the Court of Appeal from automatically extraditing Valtònyc, without the need to assess dual criminality.

In any case, the judgment of the Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Court of Cassation.


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