- Title: Jailed Catalan leader was lawmaker and entitled to immunity, EU court says
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (FILE - NOVEMBER 2, 2017) (REUTERS) POLICE VANS CARRYING JUNQUERAS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FORMER CATALAN GOVERNMENT ARRIVING AT ESTREMERA PRISON
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 10:48
- Keywords: Carles Puigdemont Catalonia Court EU EU parliament MEP Member of the European Parliament Oriol Junqueras Ruling Spain case immunity independence bid independence referendum jail separatist leader
- Location: LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / SANT VICENC DELS HORTS, MADRID AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / SANT VICENC DELS HORTS, MADRID AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Luxembourg
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA004BAN6VK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Catalan leader jailed for his role in an independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain was entitled to immunity as member of the European Parliament despite not having being able to take up his seat, the EU's highest court ruled on Thursday (December 19).
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling in respect of Oriol Junqueras marks a likely boost for the Catalan separatist movement and potentially puts judicial authorities in Brussels and Madrid at loggerheads.
Junqueras was sentenced in October to 13 years in jail for sedition and misuse of public funds related to the region's failed independence bid in autumn 2017, which Spanish authorities had declared illegal.
He was elected to the European Parliament in May despite having been in prison in Spain since November 2017.
The court said that, if Spanish authorities wanted to prevent Junqueras travelling to the European Parliament, they would have to request that the Parliament waive his immunity.
(Production Clement Rossignol)
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