The Court of Appeal of Ghent (Belgium) rejected yesterday that the Balearic rapper Josep Miquel Arenas, better known as Valtònyc, be handed over to the Spanish authorities for a crime of insult to the Crown, in a ruling that reproduces the decision already ruled in a first trial, but that the Belgian Court of Cassation forced to repeat.
The decision can be appealed in cassation, but various judicial sources consulted by Europa Press considered before learning of the ruling that it was “highly probable” that the case would be considered resolved after the ruling of the Ghent court, although the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office has pointed out after the ruling that it is premature to make a pronouncement.
Valtònyc fled in 2018 to Belgium to avoid imprisonment in Spain, where he had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for glorifying terrorism, slander and serious insult to the Crown, after which the Spanish authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant and Surrender (OEDE).
The judicial process has been dragging on since 2019, when the surrender of the Mallorcan activist was rejected by a Belgian court of first instance, a decision that the Court of Ghent confirmed in December last year.
However, in January this year the Court of Cassation ordered a re-examination of the issue of insults to the monarchical institution, one of the offences for which the Spanish authorities were demanding the surrender of the Balearic singer, who has also been convicted in Spain of threats and glorification of terrorism.
Valtònyc was arrested a decade ago for the content of the lyrics of some of his songs and convicted in 2017 for the crimes of glorification of terrorism, slander and serious insult to the Crown and threats.
In its sentence, the Audiencia Nacional found that some of the songs included in his albums have an “unquestionable laudatory content” of the terrorist organisations ETA and Grapo, which justify and incite the reiteration of violent actions.