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The European Parliament says before the TGUE that it allowed Puigdemont to occupy the seat "probably illegally"


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The European Parliament says before the TGUE that it allowed Puigdemont to occupy the seat "probably illegally"


The lawyer Norbert Lorenz, who defends the European Parliament in the matter of the parliamentary immunity of the former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, has defended this Friday at the hearing of the General Court of the European Union that the institution has had an "extremely open" treatment " with the independence leader to the point of allowing him to occupy the seat "probably illegally" because he did so without Spain proclaiming him an MEP.

"They were allowed to take seats in the European Parliament and, as we have seen from a judgment of the General Court of the European Union, probably illegally, because the European Parliament has never been notified that the applicants have been appointed or elected parliamentarians in Spain", the lawyer has expressed in his presentation at the beginning of a hearing that has lasted for five hours in Luxembourg and has now been ready for sentencing.

The lawyer of the Eurocámara reacted in this way to the first intervention of the defense of Puigdemont and the other two former ministers who fled from the Spanish justice system, elected MEPs by JxCAT, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, who have alleged that the institution did not respect the rights of their clients when processing the requests to suspend their immunities and be tried in Spain.

"We ask them to protect my clients from the European Parliament itself," said the lawyer for the pro-independence politicians in his initial speech during the hearing, Gonzalo Boye.

After listening to the European lawyer, Boye has interpreted that with those words he was advancing that the European Parliament is "considering withdrawing their seat", in reference to the pending response of the president of the European institution to the letter from the Central Electoral Board (JEC) of the last November 3 informing that it will not accredit the three elected officials of JxCAT as long as they do not abide by the Spanish Constitution.

However, when warning that "probably" Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí took their seats against what is established by law, the lawyer Norbert Lorenz has relied on a sentence handed down last July and for which the TGUE dismissed another appeal against the European Parliament for initially denying them the seat.

In that ruling, the Luxembourg-based court stated that the decision to deny them to occupy the seat does not derive from the president of the European Parliament, but from the application of Spanish law. The European Justice specified that the then president of the European Parliament limited himself to taking note of the legal situation of the two pro-independence politicians, whose names did not appear on the list of elected MEPs notified by the Central Electoral Board.

"The European Parliament, in reality, had an extremely open and correct behavior with the plaintiffs and has dealt with the request for the suspension of immunities in a totally correct way," concluded the lawyer for the European Parliament.

In his presentation, the lawyer for the former Catalan president also evoked the reform for the repeal of the crime of sedition that is being processed in Spain, the objective of which is to facilitate its delivery to the Spanish justice system, which, in his opinion, highlights the "political persecution " who suffers and reinforces the need to maintain the immunity that ensures the seat as a MEP.

"It is public and notorious that several ministers and (President of the Government, Pedro) Sánchez himself have been saying that the changes in the legislation are to obtain the delivery of Puigdemont to Spain," he defended. Boye has also denounced illegal wiretapping of both the communications of the three politicians and his with the 'Pegasus' program to maintain that the investigations "have not been judicial, but political."

"How many changes in criminal codes in the Member States do they know to obtain an extradition? I only this one", Boye has riveted to the six magistrates that make up the room of the European General Court that examines the case, whose sentence - before which will fit resource-- expected for the first quarter of 2023, although no date has been set yet.

He has also stated that the Court should "analyze" the consequences for the case if the reform in Spain to repeal sedition finally ends because it could leave the appeal "empty" of content, he has said, especially in the case of Clara Ponsatí that it is only claimed for the crime of sedition, unlike Puigdemont and Comín, who, in addition to this crime, are claimed for embezzlement. Neither the magistrates nor the lawyers for the other parties have reacted to this argument.

The lawyer has also defended the independence of the parliamentary commission in charge of analyzing the petitions and that the defense questions because it is chaired by the MEP of Ciudadanos Adrián Vázquez and because the rapporteur of the three reports on the petitions is a Bulgarian MEP from the group of Conservatives and Reformistas (ECR) to which Vox also belongs.

On this point, Boye wanted to point out that the defense of the pro-independence leaders sent thousands of pages of documentation to the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) to answer the requests and considered it "incredible" that the MEPs could examine that volume of information and make a decision in just one week.

"The European Parliament has not taken our arguments into account," said Puigdemont's lawyer, to which the judge rapporteur of the expanded Sixth Chamber examining the case, the Cypriot Anna Marcoulli, has replied, considering it understandable that MEPs carry out an examination less exhaustive of the texts than legal experts would do.

The defense of the three MEPs has dedicated a large part of the hearing to trying to demonstrate that the approval of the three requests were the result of a partial process led by MEPs -the rapporteur and the president of JURI- with political positions critical of the independence movement and supporters of the prosecution of those claimed by the Spanish Justice.

The lawyer of the European Parliament, for his part, has rejected the allegations and assured that the plaintiffs have not been able to present "not even a hint of proof that neither the president nor the speaker were not impartial"; At the same time, he has warned that with the interpretation of Puigdemont's legal team, the activity of the European Parliament would be "paralyzed" insofar as no speaker could be considered impartial, since "all members have their political ideas on issues that matter to them as well as the claimants for the independence of Catalonia".

In this context, the judge asked Boye if he was not "underestimating" the members of the European Parliament in his presentation and he was "sure" that if there had been "flagrant violations" during the processing of the petitions, the JURI MEPs would have "reacted".

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