Belgian judge releases ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont under conditions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian judge has released ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his ministers under certain conditions after a hearing lasting more than 10 hours, Belgian broadcaster VRT reported late on Sunday.

Sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont makes a statement in this still image from video calling for the release of “the legitimate government of Catalonia”, after a Spanish judge ordered nine Catalan secessionist leaders to be held in custody pending a potential trial over the region’s independence push, in Brussels, Belgium, November 2, 2017. TV3 via REUTERS TV

Puigdemont, who faces charges of misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust relating to the secessionist campaign, turned himself in to Belgian police earlier on Sunday.

The judge decided to grant the five people conditional release pending a ruling by a court on whether to execute the European arrest warrant issued by Spain, VRT said.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Peter Cooney

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