The Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena, instructor of the criminal case related to the Catalan sovereign process, considers fight in the Court of Justice of the European Union Against the interpretation that the Belgian Justice has made of the euro order and that has led to the denial of the surrender of former counselor Lluis Puig to be tried in Spain for alleged crimes of embezzlement and disobedience to the judicial authority.
The decision of the Brussels Court of Appeal, which on January 7th confirmed the refusal to execute the OEDE regarding Puig, caused astonishment in the high Spanish judicial body, especially because of the argument used: the Spanish Supreme Court is not considered by Belgium the body competent to judge the former counselor.
Erroneously, the Belgian judges affirm that in the Spanish legal system “there is no explicit legal basis” that attracts the competence of the Supreme Court to try defendants who are not certified. The Constitutional Court itself has stepped out of folly and in the judgment rejecting the appeal of former counselor Meritxell Borràs lists up to five legal precepts that have led her to reaffirm the competence of the Supreme Court to investigate and judge former members of the Government of Carles Puigdemont.
The jurisdiction of the Supreme has a “unquestionable explicit legal basis”, has declared the Constitutional Court refuting the Belgian judges.
There is also the question of to what extent an instrument such as OEDE, based on the principle of mutual recognition of resolutions issued by the judges of the Union – considered as the “cornerstone” of European judicial cooperation – allows the country of execution of a Euro order to enter into questioning the jurisdiction of the court that issues it.
High court sources indicate that the preliminary question is the appropriate mechanism for know what is the correct interpretation of Union law and, specifically, of the rules that regulate the euro order, for which Llarena values addressing the parties to hear their criteria on the origin of raising it. This hearing is mandatory and prior to the final decision to address the CJEU or not.
The same sources explain that, in view of what was resolved in the case of Lluis Puig, it is necessary to know if the interpretation made by the Belgian judges is protected by EU law because this conditions the processing of the Euro-orders still pending, those that affect Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. Against all of them, in addition, precautionary measures of detention and imprisonment agreed by the instructor of the ‘procés’ and linked to the OEDE are in force.
If finally raised, this question would be the second that the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme draws up in relation to the ‘procés’. In response to the first, the CJEU recognized the immunity of Oriol Junqueras after being elected MEP but left the assessment of the effects of that recognition in the hands of the national court. The former vice president continued, thus, in prison, since the ruling of the Luxembourg Court occurred after the conviction of the ‘procés’ and this deprived Junqueras of the right to hold public office.