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MEPs to vote on Puigdemont's parliamentary immunity in early March

Case report to be presented on February 22 with vote by Committee on Legal Affairs the following day 

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12 February 2021 07:01 PM

by

ACN | Brussels

The European parliament will vote in early March on former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's parliamentary immunity, and that of his fellow Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) MEPs Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.

As confirmed by the Catalan News Agency (ACN), on February 22 the report on whether their immunity should be removed or preserved will be presented to members of the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs.

The members will debate the findings on February 22 and are expected to vote the following day on whether or not to withdraw Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí's immunity.

A final decision will be made by the members of the parliament during the week beginning in March 8.

Spain's extradition attempt

The politicians are wanted by Spain because of their role in the 2017 independence push.

Along with their lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, they attended a hearing at the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs in January, to argue against the Spanish Supreme Court's motion to waive their political immunity, the approval of which is necessary for Spain's extradition attempt to move forward. These proceedings took place behind closed doors almost a year after the court's initial request.

The author of the report is the ultra-conservative Bulgarian rapporteur, Angel Dzhambazki.

Even if the Catalan pro-independence politicians were stripped of their immunity, they would still retain their status as MEPs until a potential conviction barring them from office, even if Belgium, or Scotland in the case of Ponsatí, decided to hand them over to Spain.

As the case of Lluís Puig demonstrated, not having political immunity does not automatically guarantee these politicians will be extradited.

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  • MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín in the European Parliament, January 14, 2021  (by Maria Castanyer)

  • MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín in the European Parliament, January 14, 2021 (by Maria Castanyer)

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