The Popular Party MEP and member of the Justice and Legal Committees of the European Parliament, Javier Zarzalejos, was on El Balance with Federico Quevedo to talk, among other topics, about the arrest of Carles Puigdemont in Sardinia.
Immunity as an MEP, up for debate
Zarzalejos, first of all, sends a message of calm because “the arguments of the Spanish justice system are solid”. The MEP explains that at the moment there is a debate that does not focus on the crimes that Carles Puigdemont is accused of, but on a preliminary procedural issue that refers to his immunity as an MEP. For the Popular MEP, the Puigdemont people is exploiting the decisions of the Italian courts as if they were definitive. Zarzalejos insists that they are not definitive and that we must continue working to ensure that Puigdemont is held accountable for his alleged crimes.
The Constitutional Court affirmed that the European Arrest Warrants are in force, thus contradicting the Spanish state’s legal counsel. The MEP insists that his parliamentary group was surprised that the Spanish government did not align itself with the national justice system. In this sense, he explains that the Spanish government presented in the procedure to offer an escape route that Puigdemont has used in Italy to avoid being judged.
The pacts, key in the case of Puigdemont
For the popular MEP, this position of the government has to do with the pacts, because if Carles Puigdemont is handed over to Spain, it would dynamite the negotiating board on the independence of Catalonia. According to the MEP, it is striking that the main concern is not justice, but what would happen to the negotiating board.
Zarzalejos explains that the Parliament’s decision to release Carles Puigdemont is being appealed, but with little chance of success. For the MEP, Puigdemont is taking advantage of immunity as a tricky tactic to entangle the proceedings. In addition, the Italian Prosecutor’s Office recognized crimes that would fit within its Penal Code, something that is key for Zarzalejos. The MEP explains that what Puigdemont has done in Spain does not go unpunished in any European country.
The European Arrest Warrants were made so that no crime would go unpunished, however, and they are being questioned in this procedure. On this, Zarzalejos says that the European Arrest Warrants are working well because there are many more cases. The MEP explains that there is talk of crimes that do not occur frequently such as secession and another factor such as the debate on the parliamentary immunity of Carles Puigdemont. This last debate is added and has nothing to do with the European arrest warrant, according to Zarzalejos.
Listen to the full interview in the audio below:
Through ‘El Balance’, a program hosted by Federico Quevedo on Capital Radio, Influence Spain is able to expand its network of contacts within the national, regional and municipal spectrum.