AGENCIAS, BRUSELAS04/11/2019 17:38
The ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, filed a lawsuit before the General Court of the European Union on Monday against the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, for declaring himself “not competent” to recognize the immunity that the politician claims as an elected Europarliamentary.
Junqueras, elected MEP in the European elections of last May 26, asked Sassoli in July – being in preventive detention – to urgently guarantee him the immunity that he believes corresponds to him.
But the Italian Social Democrat, who has chaired the European Chamber since that same month, responded in August to Diana Riba, Junqueras’ companion in the European lists and consolidated MEP, that this decision exceeded his responsibilities.
Sassoli was referred to the Spanish Central Electoral Board, which does not recognize the ERC leader as MEP, now sentenced to 13 years in prison for sedition and embezzlement, and has not declared him as such before the European Parliament.
Junqueras’ lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, filed a lawsuit on Monday, to which Efe had access, against that decision before the General Court of the European Union, based in Luxembourg.
The defense of the leader of ERC considers that Sassoli breached the internal regulations of the Eurocamara, reason why it demands the annulment of that decision and that Sassoli be ordered to pay the costs of the litigation.
The lawyer recalls in the text that the Supreme Court itself “has doubts about the scope of immunity” of the MEPs and recalls that it has raised a preliminary ruling on this fact, specifically on the protection of Junqueras.
The appeal alleges that Sassoli decided to “resolve with an unmotivated decision taken without any legal advice” that he was not competent to activate an urgent procedure to guarantee the immunity of Junqueras, as the ERC MEP Diana Riba had requested in a previous communication. Consequently, the lawyer of Junqueras asks that the communication of the president of the Eurocamara be declared void and that he be ordered to pay the costs of the procedure.
The appeal alleges that Sassoli decided to “resolve with an unmotivated decision taken without any legal advice” that was not competent.
In parallel, the European Justice is already analyzing the question of whether to Junqueras corresponds or not to that immunity from a question referred by the Supreme Court before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest Community instance, to know how the Court should interpret the European regulations regarding alleged immunity.
The Spanish high court did not allow the ERC leader, then tried in the process for the illegal 1-O referendum and in pretrial detention, to leave the prison to “swear or promise to comply with the Constitution” before the Central Electoral Board and collect his MEP act as required by Spanish electoral law, considering that there was a risk of escape.
On October 14, the hearing on that matter was held in Luxembourg and both the European Parliament and the European Commission aligned themselves with the arguments of the Spanish State when considering that the independence leader does not enjoy immunity, despite having been an elected member of Parliament European in the May elections.
The attorney general assigned to the case will publish its findings on November 12. These are not binding on the court, but usually guide the decisions of the European court.