EU court freezes lifting of Catalan separatist MPs’ immunity – POLITICO
Wednesday, the vice-president of the General Court of the EU suspended movement by the European Parliament to lift the immunity of Catalan separatist deputies.
The European Parliament voted in March to lift the parliamentary immunity of the three Catalan MPs, who face charges of sedition in Spain for their role in organizing an independence referendum in 2017.
MEPs – former regional chief Carles Puigdemont, former regional health official Antoni Comín and former education official Clara Ponsatí – had asked for the court to intervene, arguing that Parliament had failed guaranteed their ability to exercise their rights as representatives of European citizens.
They argued that there was a real and imminent risk that they would be detained and even imprisoned due to Parliament’s decisions and returned to Spain, which would prevent them from representing EU citizens during their tenure.
They said it would cause “serious and irreparable damage” and that their likely arrest or restrictions on their freedom of movement “would violate their right to perform their duties as MEPs”. As Parliament scheduled a plenary session in Strasbourg from June 7, they said they risked arrest if they made it to France.
Puigdemont and his allies fled to Belgium after the 2017 vote, which Spanish courts ruled unconstitutional, and Belgian courts previously blocked the extradition of former Catalan leaders.
The Spanish government has acted aggressively to prosecute cases related to the 2017 referendum and some former officials have been convicted of sedition and sentenced to up to 13 years in prison. But the crackdown did little to curb the independence movement in Catalonia, and the separatist parties won a majority in the regional elections in February.
The Vice-President of the European Court agreed to suspend the lifting of the immunity of MEPs, declaring that “if they are founded, the factual and legal allegations of the representatives justify maintaining the status quo until the vice -President examines the parties’ allegations in more depth. detail ”and makes a final decision.
Puigdemont posted a triumphant-looking photo on Twitter of itself with Ponsatí and Comín with the hashtag #NoSurrender.
Comin tweeted: “One more victory before the European courts! And it won’t be the last. “