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Supreme Court rejects suspending electoral board veto on Junqueras as MEP

Spain's top judges yet to decide how to interpret EU court ruling stating he has parliamentary immunity

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09 January 2020 12:36 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Spain's Supreme Court has rejected suspending the electoral board's decision to veto jailed pro-independence leader Oriol Junqueras as an MEP, as had been requested by the politician's defense team.

The parliamentary immunity Junqueras, who was elected MEP, was confirmed by the European Court of Justice on December 19, despite it having been denied by Spanish authorities following the May 26, 2019 European election.

While the Supreme Court still has to decide how to interpret the Luxembourg judges' decision, Spain's electoral authority decided to veto him as MEP a few days ago.

The electoral authority is in charge of officially confirming who obtains seats after an election, although the Supreme Court is Spain's top judicial institution.

One of the arguments the Supreme Court judges used to justify their decision was that the sentencing handed down to him for his role in the 2017 independence bid was final and includes a 13-year prison term and disqualification from public office.

Yet, the imprisoned politician was elected MEP when his trial was still underway and he was in provisional detention. While the EU court said he should have been freed then since he had not yet been sentenced, it did not explicitly rule on the current situation.

The European Parliament confirmed Junqueras as MEP following the Luxembourg court's ruling and he has already been provided with his own profile page on their website.

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  • Oriol Junqueras' vacant seat in the European Parliament, with a portrait of the jailed Catalan leader (by Blanca Blay)

  • Oriol Junqueras' vacant seat in the European Parliament, with a portrait of the jailed Catalan leader (by Blanca Blay)

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