The European Court of Justice has determined that the Catalan political leader Oriol Junqueras, who is imprisoned in Madrid, had parliamentary immunity as an MEP from the moment of the official announcement of the results of the European elections.
As a result, from that moment onwards, Junqueras also falls under the immunities of that status. He should therefore have been released by Spain to take up his seat in Strasbourg as a Member of the European Parliament. The European Court of Justice has determined that.
Oriol Junqueras has been in jail for more than two years because of his role in organizing the independence referendum in 2017. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in October.
The politician was not allowed to leave the prison by the Spanish authorities. He and other Catalan leaders are imprisoned for their leading role in declaring Catalan independence, following the Madrid referendum. Madrid only approved the election results of Spanish EU politicians at the end of May if they signed a statement at the ministry in Madrid. But the imprisoned politicians were not allowed to leave their cells.
The European Court in Luxembourg now judges that Spain should have asked the EU Parliament to waive their immunity. That did not happen, and therefore they should have been released to travel to Strasbourg.
This decision of the EU Court also relates to the situation of Catalan leaders Carles Puigdemont and Tomi Comín, who were also elected as EP members in the European elections in May. They have been in exile in Belgium and Scotland for several years. So far, the elected Spanish / Catalan politicians have not been able to take their seats in Strasbourg because the European Union and the Spanish government are conducting all kinds of legal proceedings against each other on this issue.
The verdict of the EU court is a boost for the Catalan independence movement. His party states that he must be released immediately.