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The lawyer for Catalan politician Oriol Junqueras has filed an appeal with the EU's General Court (EGC) to require the European Parliament to once again accept his client as an MEP. On Friday, Andreu Van den Eynde, Junqueras's defence lawyer, submitted the petition for provisional measures that would restore the pro-independence Catalan politician to his status as an elected Member of the European Parliament - a status which had been recognized by the Parliament after an EU Court of Justice ruling on December 19th, but then reversed after Spanish justice made a subsequent ruling on January 9th.

 

The complex issue is centred on Junqueras's immunity from prosecution as a Member of Parliament, and lawyer Van Den Eynde has now requested that the EGC suspend the European Parliament's rejection in January of a request to urgently apply the immunity measures which the Catalan politician was ruled as possessing in December. The defence lawyer also urged the court to instruct the European Parliament to take "all necessary measures" to protect the fundamental rights of his client, who was convicted to 13 years' jail for sedition in October last year, but had been elected as an MEP - and thus covered by parliamentary immunity - months before.

 

Thus, the lawyer is asking the European General Court to force the president of the EU Parliament, David Sassoli, to allow Junqueras to take his place as a Member of the European Parliament until a final ruling is made in the main proceedings. Van Den Eynde has also petitioned the General Court to order Spain to "immediately release" his client, also so that he can "fully" discharge his role as a member of the European chamber.

 

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