The extradition case of rapper Valtònyc, wanted in Spain for his lyrics, was delayed again on Tuesday following Belgium’s query on freedom of expression. The Ghent Court of Appeal was expected to decide on the rapper’s extradition on Tuesday, but the judge opted instead for querying Belgium’s Constitutional Court about whether Valtònyc’s case is covered by freedom of expression — a query that could delay a final ruling another six months.
This is how his lawyer Simon Bekaert made it public on social nets:
The Court of appeal asks a prejuducial question to the Constitutional Court whether or not the special law against insulting the crown is against the fundamental right of freedom of speech. The combat for fundamental rights continues. We have full confidence. @valtonyc
— Simon Bekaert (@Simonbekaert) September 15, 2020
Sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for glorifying terrorism, threats, and insulting the Spanish monarchy, Valtonyc (whose real name is Josep Miquel Arenas) left his home in Mallorca in May 2018 and traveled to Belgium, pledging he “would not make it easy” for Spanish authorities to incarcerate him.
Madrid’s attempt to get the rapper through a European Arrest Warrant has embattled both parts in a long judicial process — one in which Valtònyc has so far had the upper hand.