Spain's Supreme Court has once again rejected the appeal of jailed pro-independence politician Oriol Junqueras asserting that it must petition the European Parliament to waive his MEP status, and insists that the Catalan has no parliamentary immunity after losing his status as an MEP due to his conviction in the trial of the 12 pro-independence leaders last October.
The court rejected the appeal filed by Junqueras against its own earlier 9th January decision. This ruling had already given negative responses both to his request to travel to Brussels to take his seat as an MEP and to the argument that the court was required to petition the European Parliament, due to the parliamentary immunity he possessed, before continuing with the legal process against him.
The Spanish court maintains that it had already fully complied with last December's European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that Junqueras had automatically acquired the status and rights of an MEP after being declared elected in June. In response to the defence claims, the court said that the ECJ decision must be interpreted in the context of the preliminary question which it was answering. Accordingly, it asserts that Junqueras is no longer in a condition of pre-trial detention, as he was at the time when the preliminary question was put, but rather is serving a prison sentence after a final court decision. In the court's opinion, there has been a cause of "subsequent ineligibility" causing him to lose his status as an MEP, and thus he no longer has immunity.