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Belgian justice refuses to hand over Moroccan imam Iquioussen to France, according to his lawyer

The case is complicated for Gérald Darmanin. Hassan Iquioussen, the imam considered on the run since August before being arrested in Belgium on Friday September 30, will not ultimately be handed over to France by the Belgian authorities, according to his lawyer, Nicolas Cohen.

A Belgian court refused on Friday to execute the European arrest warrant targeting Moroccan imam Hassan Iquioussen, claimed by French justice for evading a deportation measure this summer, his lawyer told AFP. Belgian Nicolas Cohen. The imam disputes his extradition, his lawyer arguing in particular that he risked “an unfair trial” in France.

Hassan Iquioussen, currently incarcerated in a Belgian prison, appeared during a closed-door hearing. According to Me Cohen, the prosecution decided in favor of the execution of the EAW, which suggests an appeal on his part before the Court of Appeal.

Stopped at the end of September

Hassan Iquioussen could not be found when this decree, which he had challenged in court, had been definitively validated by the Council of State on August 31. His French lawyer, Me Lucie Simon, had judged that he had “purely and simply respected French law by leaving France for Wallonia”. The “evasion from the execution of a removal measure” reproached to the imam by a judge from Valenciennes “is not an offense under Belgian law”, argued Me Cohen.

The federal police of the Mons-Tournai sector had arrested him on September 30, in a house in Mons, on the basis of an investigation by the Zonal Directorate of the Judicial Police (DZPJ) and the Central Office for the Fight against organized crime. The preacher on file S had not put up the slightest resistance.

“This arrest was made under the European arrest warrant issued following the referral to justice by the prefect of the North on the basis of article 40 relating to the avoidance of an expulsion measure. It is up to the Belgian courts to hand over the person concerned to the French authorities in execution of this European arrest warrant”, it was specified to the Ministry of the Interior while the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, declared ” rejoice” at this interpellation. Belgian justice probably does not hear it that way for the moment.



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