Catalonia: Expert on EU stripping separatists of immunity
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
European Union lawmakers decided to lift the immunity protecting former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from prosecution in a late-night vote on Monday. Mr Puigdemont and other former colleagues are alleged by the Spanish government to have broken the law in the run-up to the Catalonia referendum and declaration of independence in 2017. Separatist parties in Catalonia are now expected to mount a challenge to the decision which has opened the door to the former Catalan officials being the target of European Arrest warrants.
France 24 Correspondent Sarah Morris said: “Well basically those members of the European Parliament voted last night.
“The vote was revealed this morning, they have voted 400 votes for lifting the immunity of Carles Puigdemont and two other former members of his government.
“248 of those MEPs voted against that lifting of the immunity, that essentially means that they considered that those members of the Catalan government only did not have immunity since this was an alleged crime that was committed before they won their seats in the Brussels Parliament.
“As such, they can face justice.”
JUST IN: EU: Rutte demanded ‘there must be a way to leave eurozone’
Ms Morris continued: “That opens the door as you said for the Spanish courts to reactive that European Arrest warrant, those arrest warrants were paralysed in Belgium and in Scotland where one of the other government members to refuge after she fled after that independence referendum.
“The Spanish jurists here are not expecting however for that extradition to be speedy.
“The Catalan nationalists have already said that they will appeal this decision by the MEPs to the European Court of Justice.
“We know for instance that in January another former government member of the Catalan government in Belgium was to be extradited but the Belgian court rejected that extradition.”
Spain: Protesters clash with police in Valencia
It comes as regional Catalan elections last month ended in a three-way tie between the Socialists and two separatist movements, the Catalan Republican Left and Together for Catalonia.
Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist-led minority government, which has relied on the Catalan Republican Left to win votes in the national parliament, has ruled out an independence referendum.
Carles Puigdemont’s Together for Catalonia party, which has a more confrontational stance with Madrid, came third, winning 32 seats and 20 percent of the vote.
Catalonian independence has gained traction over the past decade, leading to constant bickering with Madrid.
South China Sea: Philippines snubs US attempts to contain China threat [INSIGHT]
Second Cold War ‘already begun’ as China is ‘biggest threat’ to world [VIDEO]
China turns to ‘hostage diplomacy’ in bid to clamp down on backlash [ANALYSIS]
In October 2017, regional authorities held an unauthorised independence reference and the Catalan parliament subsequently issued a declaration of independence.
As a result, a number of high-profile separatist politicians were handed heavy jail sentences.
Mr Puigdemont fled Spain to Belgium rather than face trial and now is an MEP for his party in the European Parliament.
Turnout was down over 20 percent with participation plummeting because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Read Full Article