Lawyers of axed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, including Christophe Marchand (C-R), talk to the press at the Palace of Justice in Brussels on November 17, 2017. AFP / Aurore BELOT
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A court in Belgium on Friday pushed back the extradition arguments of ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four allies until at least Dec. 4, likely keeping the secessionist rebels in Belgium right through Catalonia's regional election campaign.The prime ministers of Spain and Belgium spoke Friday before the court session, discussing ties that have been strained due to the Catalan officials who are wanted on a Spanish arrest warrant.The Belgian government has said that it can't intervene in Spain's extradition request since it's up to the country's independent judiciary to make the decision.Rajoy, meanwhile, dismissed as "intolerable" claims Friday by a leading pro-independence Catalan politician that Spain had threatened to send in troops and warned there would be extreme violence if the Catalan government pushed ahead with its independence drive.Puigdemont will have to campaign from Belgium since he is prohibited from leaving while his extradition is ruled upon.
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