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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Llarena gives Puigdemont 10 days to prove whether he has asked for his immunity as an MEP to be restored | Spain

In the midst of the debate on the amnesty demanded by Junts, the group led by Carles Puigdemont, to support the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, the endless struggle between the former president of the Generalitat and the investigating magistrate of the cause of processes In the Supreme Court, Pablo Llarena, experiences a new challenge this Tuesday. Llarena has issued an order in which he grants a period of 10 days to both the former president like former councilor Antoni Comín —who fled with him to Belgium since October 2017— to prove whether they have appealed the sentence to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) who on July 5 withdrew parliamentary immunity as MEPs. The magistrate also asks if the defenses of Puigdemont and Comín have also requested the precautionary suspension of that ruling, and here may be the key to Llarena’s writing: while the CJEU itself confirmed on Monday the receipt of the appeals, it indicated that it was still had not received a request for precautionary measures. Something that the defense of former president For his part, he noted what he plans to do, although without setting a date so far. According to the Luxembourg court, there is no fixed deadline for doing so, as they can be filed “until the main issues are resolved.” Llarena’s writing, although formally it only corresponds to a procedure, suggests that the judge intends to continue having Puigdemont tied in short.

The magistrate now gives Puigdemont 10 days to justify what he has requested, so if the former president has not requested by then the CJEU to restore his immunity while it decides on his appeal, the Supreme Court instructor could reactivate the Euro-orders and international arrest warrants, as requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and the private prosecution carried out by the State Attorney’s Office. In a letter issued on July 27, the judge agreed to consider this petition for the accusations presented, but established that he would rule on it when the CJEU ruled on the possible precautionary measures that both defendants could present against the decision of the TGEU. Hence, Llarena now wants to know if Puigdemont and Comín have requested these provisional measures.

The decision of the defense of the independence leaders to postpone the request for precautionary measures allowed them, in principle, to gain time against Llarena, who already left in writing that he would decide whether or not to reactivate the European orders when the CJEU decided on their precautionary suspension. But the magistrate now gives them 10 days, so Puigdemont and Comín will have to decide if they request the suspension of their immunity before this period and thus be able to justify it before the Supreme Court judge or, on the contrary, they risk being Llarena reissue the European arrest warrant. In its strategy of delaying the process as much as possible, the defense of the former president and the former counselor already exhausted last week the deadline to appeal to the CJEU the ruling that withdrew his immunity. The ruling was announced on July 5 and the deadline to challenge it expired last Friday, the day on which the lawyer finally presented his briefs.

The European court’s ruling also leaves the former counselor and current MEP Clara Ponsatí without immunity, but Llarena does not consider reactivating the European order against her because, after the penal reform that repealed the crime of sedition last December, she is only being prosecuted for disobedience, a crime that does not involve prison sentences. In fact, Ponsatí has ​​already traveled to Spain several times in recent months and, last July, she was arrested, gave a judicial statement and was provisionally released. The next day, Llarena the investigation of his case ended so that she can be judged.

The ruling of the General Court of the EU last July rejected all the reasons formulated by the MEPs, “in particular their allegations according to which Parliament erred in concluding that the aforementioned judicial process was not initiated with the intention of damaging the activity of the deputies.” Furthermore, he adds, “when examining a request for waiver of immunity, it is not up to Parliament to analyze the legality of Spanish judicial acts, since this issue is the exclusive competence of the national authorities.”

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