Sunday, August 1

Spain accuses the European Justice of deciding on national issues for restoring immunity to Puigdemont

Spain has asked the European Justice that the JxCat MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí once again remain without immunity. The State Bar has demanded that the European judges revoke their decision of June 2, when they provisionally suspended the withdrawal of the parliamentary immunity of the independentists so that they could attend the session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) without risk of be stopped. “It cannot be expected that the General Court of the EU decides on issues that depend on the Law and the Authorities of a Member State, in this case Spain,” criticizes the letter, to which has had access.

In the allegations presented in the case of the independence leaders against the European Parliament for the lifting of immunity, the kingdom of Spain, represented by Sonsoles Centeno Huerta, a state attorney before the Court of Justice of the European Union, disputes the powers of the European court to grant the precautionary measure. According to the Spanish representative, “it is not possible” that the TGUE granted the precautionary temporary return of immunity to the independentists since “it would be up to the national authorities to grant it.” “The precautionary measure [contra el levantamiento de la inmunidad decidido por el pleno del Parlamento Europeo] requested is not justified, because the act of the European Parliament is not the determining cause of the serious and irreparable damage alleged “by the three pro-independence politicians, adds the Bar.

The European judges restored immunity to Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí in a precautionary manner by accepting the demand that the three MEPs presented on May 26. The TGUE applied, as requested by the independentistas, provisional measures to suspend the lifting of their immunity agreed by the Europarliament when voting in favor of the request sent by the Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena, instructor of the cause of the procés.

In its letter, the State Attorney maintains that the decision of the Europarliament “only” has allowed the lifting of immunity to continue processing the euro orders against the three pro-independence politicians “who fled Spain to avoid being judged.” And in any case, the letter adds, Belgium will not be able to respond to Judge Llarena’s request for extradition until the CJEU does not resolve the preliminary ruling of the Supreme Court based on the Belgian refusal to hand over former minister Lluís Puig.

According to Spain, as long as the preliminary question is not settled, no European judge is going to be encouraged to execute the Euro order, so it is not necessary for the CJEU to restore immunity to MEPs, as they would not be in danger of being detained. As the preliminary questions, which are key to the final outcome of the extradition requests, remain unresolved, the Legal Profession considers that there is no “true risk” that the withdrawal of the immunity of the three politicians could endanger them. “Since the resolutions of the European Parliament were issued, there is no record that any authority of a Member State has initiated any procedure to execute the aforementioned arrest warrants. There is no procedure for executing the aforementioned arrest warrants,” asserts the written.

All this despite the fact that the arrest warrant is still in force in Spain and for the European alert system SIRENE (of people wanted by European judicial authorities for arrest for extradition purposes). The Legal Profession considers that an eventual arrest of MEPs in Spain based on the national arrest warrant would not deprive them of continuing to exercise the position: “The plaintiffs living in Belgium and taking into account that the headquarters of the European Parliament is in Strasbourg and the part-term sessions and other Parliament committees are in Brussels, it does not seem that the exercise of the function of MEP could be hindered by an alleged arrest that would take place in Spain “.

Today the three MEPs have their immunity recognized throughout the EU except in Spain, the constituency from which they were elected. The Legal Profession warns that the national arrest warrants against the three pro-independence politicians “currently have full effect, as the plaintiffs do not have any privilege under national law.” The reason is that the obtaining of his Euroscan -May 2019- was after his prosecution for rebellion and embezzlement -March 2018-, so according to the jurisprudence it is not necessary to request a request from the European Parliament to maintain the national arrest warrant . However, then the Lawyers themselves point out that the preliminary ruling raised by Judge Llarena “involves the suspension of the national arrest warrants.”

Waiting for the preliminary ruling

The Belgian judges denied the delivery of Lluís Puig to Spain because they understood that the competent body to instruct the case is not the Supreme Court but the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) and because his delivery would endanger fundamental rights of the claimed person, such as the of the presumption of innocence. After analyzing the content of these resolutions, Judge Llarena questioned whether they are compatible with European Union law, for which he posed seven questions to the CJEU, including whether the Belgian court has the power, under Union law, to reject the competence of the issuing body, in this case the Supreme Court.

Spain’s allegations insist that European arrest warrants are de facto suspended for the processing of the preliminary ruling sent by Judge Llarena: “As the European Parliament itself says, it is quite unlikely that until there is a definitive ruling from the Court of Justice, the judicial authorities in Belgium will not proceed to execute the orders of They are also unlikely to do so in other Member States, insofar as these are substantive issues affecting the execution of European arrest warrants, regardless of the Member State in which they are executed. The effect of any Preliminary question is precisely the suspension in the procedure in which it is requested. In this case, affecting the European arrest warrants, and having been the issuing judge who has raised the question, no judicial body of the European Union could execute the same while the Court of Justice does not resolve the question “.

In addition, the Legal Profession criticizes that Puigdemont, Comín and Ponatí “have fled Spain in order to prevent them from being tried”, and ugly the three MEPs who intend to preserve their immunity “in order to avoid or at least hinder the action of Justice in Spain with respect to some facts and a criminal process that is much earlier in time than the very calling of the European elections for which he was elected. ”

Finally, the allegations appeal to “weigh the interests at stake.” In other words, “compliance with the law must prevail and, in particular, guarantee that a Court of a Member State can exercise its competence to try plaintiffs who, after fleeing Spain, use the position of member of the European Parliament to evade your responsibilities. ” Therefore, according to the letter, “the precautionary measure requested implies an excessive sacrifice to the interest of justice and respect for the rule of law, for actions that are clearly prior in time and beyond his election as a member of the European Parliament. “.

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