The Justice Commission (JURI) of the European Parliament has approved this Tuesday to request the plenary session of the European Parliament to withdraw the immunity, as MEPs, of the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont, and of the former advisers Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. This is the penultimate of the four steps to withdraw the privilege of the three escapees from the Spanish Justice, all with Euro arrest warrants issued by the Supreme Court for their participation in 1-O.
As OKDIARIO has learned from Europarliament sources, and as this newspaper anticipated, the vote has ended up failing against Carles Puigdemont’s claims with a total of 15 votes in favor of the withdrawal of immunity, against 8 who voted against and two abstentions. Among those who have voted against are the MEPs of Podemos and Bildu, who have always supported that the three fugitives retain that privilege that is a stone in the way for a future extradition.
Now, after the vote of the JURI commission, it will be the 702 MEPs who will have the last word. According to the sources, the decisive vote will enter, almost certainly in the plenary session in March.
Thus, extradition is now a little closer, because if the withdrawal of immunity as MEP of the escaped Carles Puigdemont is added the recent Constitutional Court ruling, in which it fully endorsed the competence of the Supreme Court both to instruct and subsequently judge the Procés, the Belgian Justice has it complicated to deny the extradition of the fugitive again.
Although the withdrawal of the privilege opens the extradition channels a little more for Puigdemont and Comín, another story is the judicial situation of the former counselor Clara Ponsatí, whose extradition is processed by a British court. Brexit has changed everything, and although supposedly the Euroorders processed prior to Brexit are still in force, lawyer Boye has requested that they be invalidated. He considers that after the United Kingdom’s break with Europe, Spain should request an International Detention Order as it is done with the rest of the countries that are not members of the European Union.
At the moment, the British Justice has not yet responded in this regard, but although the normal thing is that it does not agree to the defense of Ponsatí, it could be the case that it does, and that the Spanish Justice has to start the process right from the start.
The 15 votes against 8 show that MEPs have not believed the version of Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín, who accused Spain and its Justice of carrying out “a political persecution for their ideas.” In contrast, the members of JURI have endorsed the speech of both the Supreme Court and the four prosecutors of the Procés Javier Zaragoza, Consuelo Madrigal, Fidel Cadena and Jaime Moreno, who have explained that the crime of sedition does exist in the rest of European legal systems. «Sedition is contemplated in the rest of the countries, what happens is that the the name of the law changes », legal sources say about it.
As for the withdrawal of the privilege associated with being an MEP, history played against the four escapees. In the previous legislature, of the 55 requests for withdrawal that were made, only five MEPs managed to maintain immunity. And in the five cases it was maintained because the Europarliament said that the statements they had made were protected by their status as MEPs, a fact that is not referred to the fugitives.
The defense of the three Catalan politicians, exercised by the lawyer Gonzalo boyeHe has tried to delay time as much as possible, because he knew what the result of this Tuesday’s vote would be. Thus, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the emails of the members of the commission were flooded with hundreds of documents in Spanish and Catalan.
A huge documentation that had to be translated, since the official languages are English and French. In fact, Eurocamara sources consulted by OKDIARIO called it «Filibusterismo procesal» Boye’s way of acting, who acknowledged in a tweet what was published by this newspaper.
Boye said in a tweet: «They have told me about everything but the” procedural filibuster “thing is new … by the way, who is leaking that internal and confidential information from JURI? Boye uses ‘procedural filibustering’ to prevent Brussels from waiving Carles Puigdemont’s immunity “.
They have told me everything but the “procedural filibuster” is new … by the way, who is leaking that internal and confidential information from JURI?
Boye uses “procedural filibuster” to prevent Brussels from waiving Carles Puigdemont’s immunity: https://t.co/naLdhaIfB0
– Gonzalo Boye (@boye_g) November 27, 2020