The European Parliament lifted the immunity of Carles Puigdemont so that he could be tried by the Supreme Court (TS) for the crimes that were included in the text of the request sent by the Spanish court. In front of all the other judicial bodies of all the countries of the European Union, Puigdemont has not lost parliamentary immunity.
Against the decision of the European Parliament, Puigdemont appealed to the General Court of the EU, requesting that precautionary measures be adopted until the appeal was resolved by means of the corresponding judgment. The General Court did not consider it necessary to adopt the requested precautionary measures, because, in its opinion, there was no risk that Carles Puigdemont would be arrested while the court decided on the merits of the case.
Until this past Thursday it has been like that and Puigdemont has moved freely through the territory of the Union. Since this past Thursday, no longer. He has been arrested in Italy in execution of an arrest and surrender order issued at the time by the Spanish judge Pablo Llarena and at the time I write he has already been released by the competent Italian judicial authority.
I suppose that Puigdemont’s defense had already approached the General Court to request the activation of the precautionary measures that appeared in the text of his appeal against the decision of the European Parliament in view of the fact that the risk that the General Court did not see has been materialized. But it was foreseeable that the General Court would heed the request and order that Puigdemont be released so that he can serve as a European parliamentarian.
It was also important that the Italian judge made the decision without waiting for the adoption of the precautionary measures requested from the General Court. The arrest and surrender order against Carles Puigdemont was suspended in general throughout the territory of the European Union with the admission for processing by the General Court of the appeal against the decision of the European Parliament that lifted Puigdemont’s immunity.
It means, then, that until the General Court issues a ruling confirming the decision of the European Parliament, Puigdemont cannot be arrested or prosecuted.
Once the General Court has already issued it, the Supreme Court may only initiate the Puigdemont prosecution when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has resolved the preliminary ruling that the Spanish Supreme Court itself has referred it after the decision of the Belgian justice considers that the Supreme Court is not the competent judge to issue the arrest and surrender order against Catalan nationalist politicians who have established their residence in Belgium.
The decision to place Puigdemont at the disposal of the Supreme Court must be made by both the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union. First, the decision of the European Parliament must be confirmed and then it must be decided that the Belgian justice has to execute the arrest and surrender order issued by Judge Pablo Llarena in the terms in which said judge has formulated it.
Only then can the TS be able to prosecute Carles Puigdemont. The Italian Justice has nothing to say.