Saturday, October 23

The arrest of Puigdemont, pending how the ruling of the European Justice on his immunity is interpreted

The arrest this Thursday of Carles Puigdemont has to do with the ruling of the General Court of the EU on July 30. In that ruling, the Luxembourg-based court rejected the precautionary measures requested by the former president and his former councilors Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín presented against the decision of the European Parliament to proceed with the request requested by the Supreme Court and lift the immunity of the three MEPs except to go to the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) and Strasbourg (France).

The European Justice withdraws the immunity to Puigdemont and considers the Euroorders suspended

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In other words, on July 30, the TGUE endorsed the vote of the European Parliament, rejected the request for precautionary measures and, therefore, left Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín without immunity. And this decision is what has allowed the arrest of the former president, as he is a MEP without travel immunity in Italy. This decision and the fact that Spain has kept the Euroorders active after alleging to the TGUE that they had been suspended.

Supreme Court sources explain to that the decision of the European General Court to lift his immunity has allowed his arrest based on the arrest warrants in force since the end of 2019, reports Alberto Pozas.

Meanwhile, Puigdemont’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, affirms: “President Puigdemont has been arrested upon arrival in Sardinia where he was attending as MEP; this arrest is based on the Euro order of October 14, 2019 which, by legal imperative -according to the CJEU Statute, is suspended. Spain informed the General Court, and this is stated in the resolution of July 30, that no country would execute an order of these characteristics; in the same resolution the vice president of the TGUE indicated that, if necessary, a new precautionary measure be requested ” .

The thesis of Puigdemont’s defense has to do with the fact that that day the European Justice said something else, following the argumentation of the allegations presented by Spain in the precautionary procedure on the petition: it considered the Euroorders suspended until the Preliminary rulings filed by Spain in relation to the former minister Lluís Puig, whose arrest warrant was rejected by the Belgian Justice on the grounds that the Supreme Court is not the competent judicial body. The Supreme Court understood that a Belgian judge should not have the capacity to reject a Euro order with that legal argument and took the case to Luxembourg.

Thus, the Vice-President of the General Court understood in July that “while the Court of Justice [de la UE] does not rule on the preliminary ruling of Puig Gordi and others, there is nothing to consider that the Belgian judicial authorities or that the authorities of another Member State can execute the European arrest warrants issued against the deputies and hand them over to the Spanish authorities “.

In addition, the order added that “the deputies [en su petición de cautelares contra la decisión de la Eurocámara de levantar su inmunidad] they have not been able to demonstrate that the urgency requirement is met, since, in the current situation, the serious and irreparable damage they invoke [ser detenidos] it cannot be qualified as true or credited with a sufficient degree of probability. ”

Next, the TGUE stated, however, that, despite the dismissal of the application for provisional measures, “the deputies maintain the possibility of filing a new application if, after this order, the alleged damage turns out to be sufficiently probable, in particular in the event that they were detained by an enforcement authority of a Member State or if any action was carried out aimed at handing them over to the Spanish authorities “.

And this is what happened this Thursday.

Supreme Court sources explain to that now it will be the Italian courts that, as when he was arrested in Germany, decide whether to deliver him: it will not be an immediate process and high court sources specify that the viability of the execution will have to be studied of the arrest warrant, reports Alberto Pozas.

In the allegations then presented by Sonsoles Centeno Huerta, a State lawyer before the Court of Justice of the European Union, on behalf of the Kingdom of Spain, it was defended that, as long as the preliminary question was not settled, no European judge was going to be encouraged to execute the Euro order, so there was no need for the CJEU to restore immunity to MEPs, as they would not be in danger of being detained. As the preliminary ruling questions, which are key to the final outcome of the extradition requests, remain unresolved, the Legal Profession considered 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 said arrest warrants. There is no procedure for executing the said arrest warrants,” stated the written.

The Lawyers then warned that the national arrest warrants against the three pro-independence politicians “enjoy full effect, as the plaintiffs do not have any privilege in accordance with national law. [porque la obtención de su euroescaño –mayo de 2019– fue posterior a su procesamiento por rebelión y malversación –marzo de 2018–]”However, then the Lawyers themselves indicated that the preliminary ruling raised by Judge Llarena” involves the suspension of the national arrest warrants. ”

“As the European Parliament itself says,” Spain’s allegations abounded, “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 arrest warrants. It is also unlikely that do so in other Member States, insofar as they deal with substantial questions affecting the execution of European arrest warrants, regardless of the Member State in which they are executed. The effect of any preliminary ruling 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 issue, no judicial body of the European Union could execute the same while the Court of Justice does not resolve the issue. ”