EU Withdraws Immunity From Catalan Exile Puigdemont

Catalan Exile to Face Spanish Court

Image of the EU and Spanish flags. Credit: Rob Wilson/Shutterstock.com

Today the General Court of the European Union (GC of the European Union) ruled on the parliamentary immunity of Carles Puigdemont.

Wednesday, July 5, The European high court determined that the former President of the Government of Catalonia does not enjoy parliamentary immunity and thus brings his extradition to Spain closer, according to OK Diario.

Catalan Vote For Independence

In 2017, Puigdemont approved laws for permitting a Catalan independence referendum, with plans that would replace the Spanish constitution if a vote for independence was returned. Despite a ruling by Spain’s government, the referendum took place. With a result of 92 per cent supporting independence.

This caused the Spanish government to impose direct rule on Catalonia, dismissing Puigdemont and the Catalan Government. On 30 October 2017, charges of rebellion and sedition and misuse of public funds were brought against Puigdemont and others.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium and was later elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2021. He was granted parliamentary immunity in 2022

EU’s Removal Of Immunity

Following the latest ruling by the EU, Judge Pablo Llarena will now have to issue a new Euro-order, which the Belgian courts will be forced to accept.

Puigdemont had used the repeal of the crime of sedition by Pedro Sánchez’s government as part of his defence strategy. Several months ago, the EU Court of Justice had on the table the appeal that Carles Puigdemont had lodged against the European Parliament’s decision to waive his immunity as a member of the European Parliament.

The court’s decision also applies to two other ex-ministers, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín.

The European Parliament considered that the facts for which Puigdemont and Comín are wanted – then for crimes of sedition and embezzlement, and in the case of Ponsatí, only for sedition – were prior to their taking their seats, so they are not related to their activity as MEPs.

The court’s removal of immunity and their rejection of Puigdemont’s appeal opens the door for him to appear before the Justice in Spain to face the charges against him.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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