After the vote of European Parliament of March, now also the Court of the European Union confirms the waiver of immunity from MEP for the former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and his former ministers, Toni Comín e Clara Ponsatí. The decision of the judges therefore gives reason to Strasbourg Plenary, of which the three have been members since 2019, which at the beginning of the year had voted with 400 yes, 248 no and 45 abstained the waiver of immunity which opens the door to a new examination of extradition requests issued by Spain: to examine them, in the cases of Puigdemont and Comin, will be the Belgian justice, while Ponsati lives in Scotland.
According to the judges, however, their decision does not open up to risk again extradition, and therefore of imprisonment, of the three Catalan leaders, who fled the country after 2017 independence referendum deemed illegal by the Spanish central government and which cost them the charges sedition e misappropriation of public funds (the latter offense only for Puigdemont and Comìn). In fact, the motivations state that “there is no reason to believe that the Belgian judicial authorities or the authorities of another Member State can execute the European arrest warrants issued against Members and hand them over to the Spanish authorities”. Legal proceedings are still ongoing in Belgium and the UK to decide whether local authorities should execute Spain’s extradition request. But the legal battle is not destined to end quickly: if European justice and the Belgian courts were to give an unfavorable judgment, Puigdemont and Comín could decide to go to the Supreme Court and, if necessary, even before the European Court of Human Rights.
Tranquility also transpires from Together for Catalonia, the party of the independence leader, according to which the decision of European justice “Does not jeopardize” his “political rights”. In a note, the formation argues that the decision of the Court of the European Union determines that, in the event that Spain reactivates international arrest orders against them, it would “restore precautionary measures” to protect the three Catalan exponents.
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