A Belgian court has released Catalan ministers Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig after they testified in Brussels this afternoon. The judge has decided to not impose any cautionary measures nor ask for bail whilst they consider the extradition warrants against the three. The next step will be another hearing for the judge to decide whether to extradite them or not.
The news broke shortly after the Higher Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein released president Carles Puigdemont. The German court has rejected the charge of rebellion, but in the case of the president have set bail of 75,000 euros (£65,600, $91,700). This means if they do eventually decide to extradite him, it would only be for misuse of public funds, so he could only face trial for that charge in Spain.
The ministers have a residence in the country and public prosecutors argued last week that they don't pose a flight risk as they had put themselves at the disposition of Belgian justice whenever required.
Four judges, one decision
Leaving court, Comín highlighted that it's the second time they'd been left free by a Belgian judge, and that judges in Scotland and now Germany have decided on similar lines. "Four judges have had to make a decision and, in all four cases, it's the same: release," he said.
The minister said he was "satisfied" and "content" over today's decisions, calling for them to lead to the release of the nine political prisoners held in Spain.
As for the future of his case, he said they're facing it with "all the calm in the world", "strengthened" following the German court's verdict over Puigdemont. "We're convinced that we'll be able to convince the Belgian judge that there are more than enough reasons to not carry out the extradition," he said.