The legal battle of imprisoned 2017 Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras to defend his seat in the European Parliament has had a negative response from the EU General Court (EGC) today. The vice president of the EGC this Tuesday afternoon announced the rejection of the demand for an interim injunction that would allow Junqueras to recover the seat until there is a firm decision on the appeal he filed against the European Parliament's decision to declare his seat vacant.
In its session of 13th January, the European Parliament declared the vacancy of his seat, taking effect as from 3rd January. Junqueras filed an appeal and demanded interim measures so that this decision would be suspended. The pro-independence leader demanded that the necessary measures be taken to "protect and exercise his privileges and immunities, as well as his fundamental rights to fully exercise his status as a member of the European Parliament, until a judgment is issued in his appeal to annul the ruling."
The TGUE's argument for refusing interim measures is that "the judge deciding the interim measures cannot impose orders for injunctions on entities that are not parties to the litigation, such as the Spanish authorities in this case", so it considers that the request is inadmissible.
With regard to Junqueras's request for the suspension of the 13th January decision declaring that his seat was vacant, the court found that the petition was not sufficiently justified. "The annulment of an MEP's term of office as a result of the application of national legislation, automatically implies the expiration of the term of office of the MEP, as well as the vacancy of that member's seat", argues the text, adding that the European Parliament only received information on the expiration of the term, and the court is not competent to challenge the regularity of the decision."
The court ruling comes on the same day as the jailed pro-independence leader left Lledoners prison in Catalonia for six hours, as he began regular work leave, under which he will be teaching a university course on the history of thought.