Spain has asked the European justice to reject Carles Puigdemont’s request for his immunity as a MEP to be restored on a precautionary basis. The State Attorney presented last Friday its brief of allegations before the General Court of the European Union (TGUE) on the request made by the former Catalan president on October 1, after being arrested in Sardinia. According to legal sources, Spain has argued that the “new facts” in which Puigdemont relies to claim immunity (his arrest in Italy) does not demonstrate that the necessary urgency requirement to grant a precautionary measure has been met because he has not been prevented from exercise of their functions as a member of the European Parliament.
Puigdemont has demanded that the TGUE return the precautionary immunity that the same court snatched from him on July 30, understanding that there was no risk that the MEP would be arrested. The European justice based this conclusion on the brief of allegations presented then by the State Bar. “Nothing allows us to suppose that the Belgian judicial authorities or the authorities of another Member State can execute the European arrest warrants issued against the plaintiffs and can hand them over to the Spanish authorities,” stated the legal services of the Government. But the European arrest warrant processed by the Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena was active and the former president was arrested on September 23 as soon as he landed in Sardinia.
After taking a statement from him, Italy suspended the procedure for handing over to Spain pending a definitive ruling on the immunity of the MEP and on a preliminary ruling from Judge Llarena regarding the euro order being processed by Belgium. The defense of the former Catalan leader considers, however, that after what happened in Sardinia there are no longer guarantees so that Puigdemont can travel without risk of being arrested again, for which he has asked that his immunity be restored while the TGUE resolves the appeal. presented by the former Catalan president against the decision of the European Parliament to lift that protection.
The State Bar, however, considers that the arrest in Italy has not affected Puigdemont’s functions as MEP, nor does it see a risk that this could occur because the expresident it does retain immunity to attend the plenary sessions of the European Parliament, based in Strasbourg (France). Now it will be the General Court of the EU that has to decide whether to return to Puigdemont as a precautionary measure the protection that all MEPs enjoy or whether, on the contrary, it is kept withdrawn until it decides on its appeal.
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