The Belgian Justice again rejects the extradition of Valtònyc

The Belgian Justice had reviewed the rapper's case in relation to the insults to the Crown to decide on his extradition. And he has once again rejected Valtònyc's extradition this Tuesday, after the Ghent Court of Appeals has refused for the second time to hand him over after the ruling was ordered to be reviewed. The sentence can be appealed again before the Belgian Court of Cassation.

We won @valtonyc

– Gonzalo Boye (@boye_g) May 17, 2022

The review comes from the decision in January of the Belgian Court of Cassation, which denied the appeal of the Prosecutor's Office -presented on behalf of Spain- for glorification and threats, and returned the verdict for insults to the Court of Ghent so that it reformulated its decision on the insults

Cassation wanted to examine whether Valtònyc can be handed over for common insults, with the Penal Code, not with the special law of insults to the Crown. However, the Ghent Court of Appeals had to “take into account the ruling of the Constitutional Court”, which includes the Strasbourg case law on freedom of expression and de facto eliminates the insults to the Crown in Belgium.

“The Court of Cassation has ruled that there is no extradition for praising terrorism or for threats”, explained Valtònyc's Belgian lawyer Simon Bekaert: “As regards the insults to the Crown, the Court returns the case to the Court of Appeal of Ghent, who has to rehear the case on that particular point.” And this Tuesday, Bekaert tweeted: “Victory. The Ghent Court of Appeal has decided, after the Cassation, that there is no extradition.”

Victory. Court of appeal ruling Ghent. Even after cassation no extradition @valtonyc

— Simon Bekaert (@Simonbekaert) May 17, 2022

On December 28, the Ghent Court of Appeal rejected the delivery to Spain of the rapper Josep Miquel Arenas, known as Valtònyc, for a crime of threats, after the Belgian Justice had previously ruled out the crimes of insulting the Crown and glorifying terrorism for which the Spanish justice also claims him. The ruling of the Ghent Court of Appeal could be appealed by the parties before the Court of Cassation, which the Prosecutor's Office has done with the result known this Tuesday in relation to reviewing the part of the insults, which had been discarded.

Indeed, the Constitutional Court of Belgium had moved away the extradition of Valtònyc on October 22, when it decided that the insults to the king were protected by freedom of expression; and, therefore, that a Belgian law of 1847 regarding offenses against the king "is contrary to freedom of expression", so it could not be applied to judge the rapper in 2021.

The Belgian justice had already rejected in the first instance the delivery of Valtònyc in September 2018, alleging that there was no double criminality, that is, that the charges for which he was convicted in Spain were not classified as a crime in Belgium, a decision that he appealed the Ghent Prosecutor's Office before the Court of Appeal, which ruled on December 28.

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