The ruling of the European General Court (EGC) on the parliamentary immunity of the Catalan president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont, will be made public on Wednesday, July 5th at half past nine in the morning, as the Catalan MEP announced in a tweet this Thursday. In his message, Puigdemont details that in reality what will be communicated will be two consecutive sentences, "the first on the European Parliament's refusal to defend us, and the second on our immunity".
La sentència del Tribunal General de la Unió Europea sobre la nostra immunitat es farà pública el dimecres 5 de juliol a dos quarts de deu del matí. Seran, de fet, dues sentències consecutives: la primera, sobre la negativa del @Europarl_CAT a defensar-nos, i la segona sobre la…— krls.eth / Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) May 25, 2023
Last November, two hearings were held in Luxembourg on the subject of the parliamentary immunity of the exiled Catalan MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. One of the hearings was to discuss whether to allow them to retain their immunity, which they currently have been granted on an interim basis until the final decision is made, while the second was on whether to annul the procedure in the European Parliament that waived this protection and allowed them to face court demands for their handover to the Spanish state.
The two cases on which decisions are expected
The first issue that was heard by the court in November was that of case T-115/20. In this procedure, MEPs Puigdemont and Comín request the annulment of the decision of the then-president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, of December 10th, 2019, not to notify the plenary and refer the demand to the competent committee, after this demand had been presented on their behalf by ERC MEP Diana Riba, in October of that year. In particular, they want to annul the decision of Sassoli -who, later, did recognize them as MEPs following the European Court of Justice judgment in the Junqueras case- but in this instance, did not take action to defend their immunity to the European Arrest Warrants of 14th October 2019 and November 4th, 2019, issued by Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena.
The second case for which a decision is awaited is the T-272/21 and is considered the most important. The action of the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, which agreed to the waive of parliamentary immunity of Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí requested by judge Llarena, will be analysed. The defence team for the three exiled MEPs maintains that the president of the committee Adrián Vázquez, an MEP for Ciudadanos, acted with a lack of impartiality. The MEPs request the annulment of the request submitted.
The Court of Justice has already decided to provisionally maintain the immunity of the three pro-independence MEPs, in a resolution in which the vice-president of the European high court noted that the "behaviour" of the rapporteur for the immunity request, the ultra-conservative Bulgarian Angel Dzhambazki, as well as that of the president of the Legal Affairs Committee, Adrián Vázquez, "seem to demonstrate at first glance a position taken or a personal prejudice against the deputies".