EU court rules against Puigdemont's extradition - for now
European General Court believes former Catalan president does not need parliamentary immunity because euro warrants have been suspended
BrusselsFormer Catalan president Carles Puigdemont cannot be arrested within the European Union and therefore does not need to regain his parliamentary immunity, previously withdrawn by the European Parliament. The European General Court (ECG) has ruled out reinstating Puigdemont's immunity (as well as that of former Catalan ministers Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí), despite the his recent arrest in Alghero. The court considers the execution of the euro-orders has been suspended, contrary to what the Spanish Supreme Court held. It believes that they may only be reactivated once EU courts rule on a preliminary question the Spanish Supreme Court submitted after Belgian courts refused to extradite former Catalan minister Lluís Puig.
This confirms the suspension de facto of the extradition order, which the same Supreme Court had called into question after Puigdemont's arrest. For that reason, Puigdemont's party, JxCat, has quickly celebrated the ruling on its Twitter account. "The ECG confirms that the Euro-orders are suspended by legal imperative and therefore does not consider necessary the precautionary measures on immunity," they tweeted.
The ECG points out explicitly that the precautionary measures requested by the defence of the former president are not necessary because "the criminal process is suspended until the Court of Justice rules on the request for a preliminary ruling". It specifies that "this suspension is derived directly" from the fact that the same Supreme Court raised this question, insists that its effects are "binding" and, moreover, adds that "the Spanish judicial body was aware of this suspension".