Moroccan imam Hassan Iquioussen, targeted by a European arrest warrant issued by French justice, was arrested on Friday, September 30 near Mons, Belgium, said the Belgian Minister of Justice.

“I can confirm to you that he was arrested today by the police”, declared the minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne. According to a French police source, he was arrested by the Belgian police “without incident”. by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

Not found since the green light from the Council of State for his expulsion, on August 30, he was then the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by an investigating judge in Valenciennes (north), for “evading execution of a deportation decision”.

Gérald Darmanin announced on July 28 the expulsion of this preacher, born in France 58 years ago but of Moroccan nationality, filed S (for state security) by the DGSI “for eighteen months”, according to him . The expulsion order accuses him of “a proselytizing speech interspersed with remarks inciting hatred and discrimination and carrying a vision of Islam contrary to the values ​​of the Republic”. His YouTube channel is followed by 178,000 subscribers.

The imam is at the heart of a legal imbroglio. His lawyer, Me Lucie Simon, disputes in particular the validity of the arrest warrant targeting him, believing that it is based “on an offense” which is, according to her, “not constituted”. “Why look for him? Why do you want to bring him back?”, she wondered at the beginning of September.

According to the French Ministry of the Interior, it is now up to the Belgian courts to hand over the person concerned to the French authorities in execution of the arrest warrant. The procedure for handing over the imam to France could take several weeks if the person concerned objects to it.