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Judge Llarena Will Not Ask For Puigdemont’s Arrest Until CJEU Has Ruled

Order not to present a European arrest warrant for Catalan president Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín

Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena issued an order this Thursday in which he agreed to not present a European arrest warrant for Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín until he knows if the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) approves the precautionary measure to restore the Catalan MEPs’ immunity. The investigating judge of the case against the Catalan pro-independence supporters is cautious and, for now, has ruled out the request by Vox and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to reactivate the European and international arrest warrants immediately. The CJEU’s response is not expected until early 2024.

The Junts MEPs, defended by Gonzalo Boye, already announced they will appeal to the CJEU against the judgment of the General Court of the European Union (EGC) which endorsed the withdrawal of their immunity.

In the ruling, the judge recalls that the July 5th ruling by the EGC, which dismissed the appeals of Puigdemont and Comín against the European Parliament’s decision to grant judge Llarena’s request can be appealed in cassation before the CJEU within a period of 2 months and 10 days (until September 15th 2023). In addition, it stresses that, in this case, the Catalan exiles can ask the CJEU to provisionally restore their parliamentary immunity.

“Any European arrest warrant issued at the current stage of the proceedings would be immediately paralysed were the CJEU to admit the possible precautionary measure requested; “forcing the interruption of its international processing and making it inconsequential,” said The Spanish Supreme Court Judge. 

As of September 15th, the CJEU takes about 4 months to rule on the request of the Catalan exiles. In other words, a response from the court is not expected before next January.

Carles Puigdemont in front of the European Parliament, in 2021, in Brussels, Belgium. The plenary of the European Parliament has approved to accept the request sent by the Supreme Court by which the parliamentary immunity of the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont will be suspended so that he can be tried in Spain for his role in the ‘procés’. HATIM KAGHAT/EUROPA PRESS VIA GETTY IMAGES.

On the other hand, Judge Llarena adds that f the CJEU decides to reject the precautionary measure that Puigdemont and Comín are requesting by challenging the sentence, the decision requested by the accusations (Vox and the Public Prosecutor’s Office) can be adopted. “With enough time to act accordingly, given that the maximum period established by Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA to resolve any request for surrender is three months,” said the judge.

Then, the judge reasons, “there would be no difficulty for the defendants to be brought before the Spanish courts before the dissolution of the European Parliament for which they were elected and for the performance of which they were granted the immunity whose waiver was requested from the outset”.

“Whatever the CJEU says, in the end Judge Llarena will have to direct the European arrest warrant for Puigdemont and Comín to the Belgian courts, since they reside in Waterloo. And the Spanish judge is already trying to put pressure on them,” said El Nacional En.

According to the judge, “the principle of loyal cooperation that operates as a guiding rule between the public bodies of the EU and its States Parties, should be oriented to the fact that, having requested the supplication immediately after the current Parliament was constituted, if the requested suspension of immunity was granted and if it is legally valid, the jurisdictional initiative should be able to achieve the purpose for which it is intended; considering that the constitution of a new Parliament in June 2024, which forces this instructor to restart the process, is an anomaly”.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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