Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí will be able to travel to Strasbourg (France) next Monday for the plenary session of the European Parliament without being “exposed to being arrested.” This was decided by the vice president of the General Court of the EU this Wednesday, by provisionally paralyzing the suspension of the immunity of the three. The car comes after the independence leaders presented an appeal against the vote of the European Parliament, which decided to withdraw their immunity at the request of the Supreme Court on March 9.
Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí have lost their immunity, now what?
“Given that Parliament has announced that it will resume its sessions at its headquarters in Strasbourg (France) on June 7, 2021, the deputies add that they would be exposed to the risk of being arrested if they traveled to France,” says the court, based in Luxembourg: “By his order of June 2, 2021, the Vice-President of the General Court orders that the execution of Parliament’s decisions be suspended until the order that terminates the present interim measures procedure is adopted.”
The Vice-President of the General Court emphasizes that the European Parliament “has not yet been able to present its observations on the request for provisional measures, so that as of today it is not possible to determine whether its merits have been sufficiently demonstrated.
The court adds that “this claim can be accessed even before the other party has submitted its observations, especially when it is necessary to maintain the status quo until the order ending the provisional measures procedure is adopted.”
In this case, “if they are founded, the factual and legal allegations of the deputies justify maintaining the status quo until the vice president examines the allegations of the parties in more detail and pronounces definitively on the demand for provisional measures.”
The vote on that March 9, 2021 started on December 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., 17 minutes after the president of the EU Court of Justice based in Luxembourg read the sentence in Spanish on Oriol Junqueras. A ruling that enabled Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and, later, Clara Ponsatí, to become MEPs by virtue of the electoral result of the May elections. At 10:00 am that day, the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, met with the chairmen of the parliamentary groups. At the meeting there was no discussion on the matter: the sentence was confirmed and little else.
The heated discussion came shortly after, when the President of the European Parliament decided to make a statement in plenary in Strasbourg at 12 noon. The minutes passed and Sassoli did not enter the plenary. And MEPs were getting impatient, protesting thinking that they were going to lose their planes. But Sassoli did not appear.
Sassoli finished reading the statement, said that he would not allow anyone else to speak afterwards, and left the floor. The die was cast and the president of the European Parliament had decided, together with his collaborators and, this time with the yes of the legal services, that there were no longer any impediments for Puigdemont and Comín to enter the European Parliament, six months after the elections .
The next morning, on December 20, 2019, Puigdemont and Comín entered the European Parliament as MEPs and with immunity. And at that very moment the countdown to the supplication began.
A year and a half after that December 19, this June 2, the European Justice returns to rehabilitate, albeit provisionally, the MEPs of Junts, whose immunity was lifted by 57% of the European Parliament. In two other petitions that were voted on that Tuesday, the Yes it is they reached 95% of the votes, almost 40 points more than in the case of the Catalan independence leaders.
Proof that the debate on Catalonia, Spain and justice has been addressed in the groups is a letter from the Italian socialist MEP Franco Roberti (PD / S & D), former Italian anti-mafia magistrate, addressed to Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí to which he has had access to elDiario.es and in which it states: “It can be concluded, with certainty, the will of the Spanish State to use the criminal instrument to prevent the political activity of three Catalan colleagues and thus try to solve a very serious political problem with the appeal to judicial repression “.
In any case, the lifting of immunity by the European Parliament is limited to responding to the Supreme Court’s own request. Thus, it does not foresee any prosecution and is limited to the case of the euro order, open and frozen in the Belgian Justice after taking possession of the seat, according to the report prepared by the speaker, the ultra-conservative Bulgarian Angel Dzhambazki (ECR, the Vox group and the Flemish nationalists of the N-VA), and published this Wednesday by the European Parliament.
“It was decided to request the European Parliament to suspend the immunity of Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó ‘so that he can continue with the execution of the European arrest and surrender orders that have been issued’, and inform the executing authority in Belgium”. This sentence of the report approved by the European Parliament indicates the scope of application of the lifting of immunity.
That is to say, the request of the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena to the European Parliament, and that the European Parliament is taking, deals with the arrest warrant that was left frozen in Belgium when they assumed the act of MEPs, and, on the other hand, it does not specify that it serves to prosecute them, at the same time that it could enable them to travel to Strasbourg if there are plenary sessions at the French headquarters.