17 May, 2022 @ 13:30
1 min read

Spain fails in latest bid to extradite Mallorca rapper from Belgium

Spain fails in latest bid to extradite rapper from Belgium who insulted monarchy
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MALLORCAN rapper Josep Miqeul Arenas, known as Valtonyc, has won another Belgian court ruling which has again refused Spain’s bid to extradite him.

The Ghent Supreme Court rejected a Belgian Prosecutor’s Office appeal on Tuesday over a ruling made in Valtonyc’s favour last autumn by the Belgian Constitutional Court.

Valtonyc was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail in 2018 but fled Spain.

The Sa Pobla artist was convicted of glorifying terrorism, threatening right-wing politician Jorge Campos and making defamatory comments against the Spanish royal family.

The rapper was charged under a controversial ‘Citizen Safety’ law, dubbed as the ‘Gag Law’ which was passed by the previous right-of-centre Partido Popular government in 2015.

Valtonyic’s case and that of another convicted rapper, Pablo Hassel, caused protests and a debate over free speech in Spain.

After losing a Supreme Court appeal over his 2017 conviction, Valtonyc ended up in Belgium and legal moves to get him returned have been rebuffed for the last three years.

It’s not technically the end of the road as one more appeal is possible, though legal experts in Belgium regard the case as resolved.

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Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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