Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four ex-regional ministers were taken into custody Sunday morning to formally start the process of their possible extradition to Spain, according to the Brussels prosecutor's office.
The five leaders submitted themselves to federal police around 9 a.m. local time, though Brussels prosecutor Gilles Dejemeppe said that they haven't been arrested. They are expected to present themselves before an investigative judge later in the day. From there, the Belgian judge will have 24 hours to decide what comes next for the separatist politicians, who are wanted in Spain on suspicion of rebellion for pushing through a declaration of independence for Catalonia in violation of Spain's Constitution.
Dejemeppe said the judge's options range from "refusal to execute the European arrest, arresting the people involved, releasing them on conditions or under bail." If they are arrested, he continued, the five members will be sent to jail as the extradition process continues, That process could take more than 60 days.
Puigdemont and the four ex-ministers fled to Belgium this past week after Spanish authorities removed them from power in order to quash the region's illegal secession claim.