BRUSSELS: Prosecutors in Belgium's capital say they are examining a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and hope to launch extradition proceedings as soon as possible.
Brussels prosecutors said in a statement issued Saturday that their federal Belgian counterparts gave them the warrants for Puigdemont and four of his associates due to links the five politicians from Catalonia have to Brussels.
The statement did not explain what those links are. Puigdemont and former members of his Cabinet fled to Belgium after the Spanish government removed them from office a week ago.
Puigdemont spoke at a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday and appeared on Belgian state television on Friday.
Sources close to the officials would not disclose their whereabouts on Saturday, although Puigdemont tweeted in Dutch that he was ready to cooperate with Belgian authorities.
Brussels prosecutors said in the statement that they and federal prosecutors are jointly examining the arrest warrants from Spain "to start the judicial proceedings as soon as possible and in conformity with the law."
The statement says no further details would be provided before 2 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Catalonia's ousted leader says he's ready to cooperate with Belgian authorities after Spain issued a European warrant for his arrest, though he isn't giving any clues about his whereabouts.
A tweet sent in Dutch from the account of former Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont on Saturday read: "We are prepared to fully cooperate with Belgian justice following the European arrest warrant issued by Spain."
Puigdemont didn't elaborate or say where he is. He is believed to be in Belgium, where he and some aides fled after the Spanish government removed them from office a week ago.
Belgian prosecutors have confirmed they received European warrants for Puigdemont and four other former members of Catalonia's separatist government. It is up to a judge to decide whether or not to arrest them.
Spain is seeking the officials for alleged crimes that include rebellion, sedition and embezzlement for their roles in pushing regional lawmakers to declare Catalonia's independence.