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EU court rejects Catalan trio’s immunity bid

30 Jul 2021 / global news Print

EU court rejects Catalan trio’s immunity bid

The EU’s highest court has rejected an attempt by three Catalan MEPs to prevent the loss of their parliamentary immunity.

In March, MEPs voted to strip the immunity of former Catalan leader Carlos Puigdemont (pictured) and two of his associates – his former health minister Toni Comín and former education minister Clara Ponsatí.

The three went into exile in Belgium, as they face charges in Spain relating to their role in organising a referendum on independence in the region in 2017. Belgium had previously rejected a Spanish extradition attempt against Puigdemont.

Full case ruling later

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today (30 July) rejected an attempt by the three to extend an interim suspension of the lifting of parliamentary immunity.

They had argued that the parliamentary vote left them open to arrest, but the court said that they had not demonstrated that they were in imminent danger of being arrested.

"There is nothing to suggest that the Belgian judicial authorities or the authorities of another member state could execute the European arrest warrants issued against the MEPs and hand them over to the Spanish authorities," the court ruled.

The court will rule on the full case, in which the three are seeking an annulment of the MEPs’ vote, at a later date.

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