French MEP Manon Aubry (La France Insoumise party) has today publicly demanded that the rights of the three Catalan MEPs be respected in the current European Parliament committee hearing on waiving their immunity from prosecution. And she directly warned Spanish Popular Party (PP) representative Esteban González Pons that if the rules are not followed, the legitimacy and impartiality of the final decision made by the EU body could be "tarnished by an intolerable doubt".
Aubry, who is a member of the European chamber's Legal Affairs Committee which is considering the request lodged by Spain's Supreme Court, denounced that yesterday González Pons violated the rules on the confidentiality of the procedure, by giving information to the press about the debate that took place in the hearing in which Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí appeared, and making statements about what, "according to him", is the opinion of the majority.
Les droits des députés européens catalans doivent être respectés. Ma réaction à la suite de la rupture des règles de confidentialité par un député en Commission des affaires juridiques. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ojlFiQX7rn— Manon Aubry (@ManonAubryFr) January 15, 2021
The French MEP warns through the statement she published on her Twitter account that in the debate on lifting the immunity of the three exiled Catalan representatives, serious issues are raised for the Parliament, for Spain, for Catalonia and for millions of citizens. “The Legal Affairs Committee and its members must show the utmost rigour in conducting this debate and avoiding all political interference,” she warns.
This morning, the three Catalan MEPs made a formal protest to the lawyers and the secretariat of the committee denouncing the attitude of González Pons and asking if there had been any change in the rule on the confidentiality of discussion on the requests.
The Spanish PP deputy left Thursday's committee meeting shortly before the end of the session, and after the three JxCat party politicians had finished their appearances, and he assured reporters waiting outside that the majority opinion in the committee was in favour of the waiving of the MEPs' immunity. González Pons admitted that there had been talk during the debate on the ruling of the Brussels Court of Appeal which definitively rejected the European Arrest Warrant against exiled Catalan culture minister Lluís Puig with its conclusion that the Supreme Court is not competent to hear this case, centred on the Catalan independence referendum of 2017.