EP waived immunity of Carles Puigdemont and two other Catalan MEPsEuropost , Brussels
In a secret vote on Monday evening, the results of which were announced on Tuesday, the European Parliament stripped three Catalan MEPs of their immunity. The move was at the request of the Spanish judiciary.
With 400 votes in favour, 248 against and 45 abstentions, lawmakers waived the immunity of Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, former leader of Spain's Catalonia region.
The parliamentary immunity of Antoni Comín i Oliveres, former Catalan health minister, was stripped by 404 votes in favour, 247 against and 42 abstentions.
The request for waiver of immunity of Clara Ponsatí Obiols, former Catalan minister of education was adopted also by 404 votes in favour, 247 against and 42 abstentions.
In Spain, they face charges in connection with the independence referendum in 2017, declared illegal by the authorities in Madrid.
The Belgian judicial system will once again have a decisive say in the extradition of the three Catalans.
Before the vote, the Greens/EFA Group in the EP stated that rejects the waiver of immunity of three Catalan MEPs. Ska Keller MEP, President of the group said that after an evaluation of the dossier, they decided to reject this request.
"The Group considers in this case that the competence of the Spanish Supreme Court is still disputed and has not been sufficiently clarified during the evaluation done by the JURI Committee. Without further clarity on this key element of the request, the Group considers that the waiver should be rejected,” she said.
The other leader of the group, Philippe Lamberts commented that the group believes that the political conflict in Catalonia and Spain needs to be resolved by political means, and that an important condition for this to succeed is to avoid the continuous judicialization of politics.
“The Group fully supports the so-called 'Dialogue Table' established between the Catalan and the Spanish governments, which is the appropriate fora to build a political solution to the conflict,” he stated.
Lamberts underlined that the Greens urge the Spanish government to decide as soon as possible on different instruments to guarantee that the political and social leaders imprisoned for their involvement in the events of October 2017 can soon regain their freedom. “This political solution should also allow that no further judicial indictments are issued."