After the removal of his immunity by the European Parliament, the former regional president of the Spanish territory of Catalonia spoke of “a clear case of political persecution”. “We have lost our immunity, but the European Parliament has lost too much: European democracy,” Carles Puigdemont said in Brussels on Tuesday. He is now threatened with extradition to Spain, along with two fellow campaigners.
The resolution of the conflict in Catalonia may not be “to entrust the Spanish judiciary to us”, Puigdemont said. It is a “sad day for the European Parliament”.
On Monday evening, the European Union’s parliament voted to increase the immunity of all three MPs. Puigdemont and his former health minister Tony Comin fled to Belgium in October 2017 after Catalan’s independence process to avoid prosecution, which was suppressed by Madrid. Clara Poncetti, a former minister of Catalonia’s culture, fled to Scotland. All three were elected to the EU Parliament in 2019.
Spain has been trying for extradition for years. Many attempts have already failed. In Spain, politicians face severe punishment. The campaigners for the independence of Catalonia who stayed there have already been sentenced to prison, some of whom are tall. However, it is still uncertain whether officials will actually extradite the politicians. The competent Belgian and Scottish authorities decided on extradition requests from Madrid.
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