The Spanish Supreme Court is to ask the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) about the extent of jailed Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras‘ parliamentary immunity, after he was elected an MEP in May’s EU election.
Junqueras, the former Catalan vice president who is awaiting a verdict from the Spanish court after being tried for his part in the 2017 independence bid, was denied permission to leave prison to complete the accreditation process in Madrid that would allow him to take his seat in the EU parliament.
The Supreme Court will ask the CJEU whether Junqueras enjoys parliamentary immunity despite not having completed the accreditation process, and if so, whether he has the right to be allowed out of prison to do so, and to attend the European Parliament.
Meanwhile, former president Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín, who are both in exile and who also both won seats in the EU parliament, have asked to be included in the Supreme Court’s query.
As they risk arrest if they return to Spain, like Junqueras, neither completed the accreditation process and so were excluded from the official list of Spanish MEPs Madrid sent to Brussels. For the moment, the MEP seats of all three men have been declared vacant.