EU parliament to tell court Junqueras' immunity case is down to Spanish law
European Court of Justice to decide jailed leader's political rights after being elected MEP but not being allowed to take office
The European Parliament is set to tell the European Court of Justice that the immunity case of MEP-elect Oriol Junqueras, in provisional detention, is only down to the "national legislation," that is, the Spanish legal framework.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has to decide on the issue after being questioned by Spain's Supreme Court, who had in turn been requested immunity by Junqueras' defense.
Esquerra's leader was elected MEP in the May 26 European elections, but the Supreme Court did not let him leave the penitentiary to take the Spanish constitutional oath, leading to the electoral authorities not allowing him to take office as European representative.
On October 14 at 2.30 pm, ECJ will hold a hearing on the case, taking into account the observations made by the different sides – the European Parliament decided to get involved in the affair sending their views to the court in Luxembourg.
These views have not been disclosed yet, but the Catalan News Agency (ACN) has learned that the chamber will say it is a matter for the Spanish electoral law to determine.
Several sources say that the parliament in Brussels will set itself apart from the case.
While some sources in the chamber's legal affairs committee say Junqueras' chances of immunity are scarce since he has not taken up office as MEP, they also admit it is an underlying political issue, which also links the case to Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín. The former government members are in exile and despite winning seats in the EU election, weren't allowed to take office by proxy.
Sentence delay rejected
This coincides with the Supreme Court rejecting jailed politician Oriol Junqueras' petition to delay sentencing for his role surrounding the 2017 independence referendum until the European Court of Justice rules on his potential immunity.
On Tuesday, Madrid judges ruled that the impending Luxembourg ruling does not condition the upcoming sentence.
Junqueras' lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, had stated that he would challenge the Supreme Court's verdict if it was announced prior to the EU court ruling on his client's immunity.