Esquerra Republicana Secretary General Marta Rovira defends her rights before the Court of Justice of the European Union

Ms Rovira is represented by lawyer Andreu Van den Eynde at the hearing on the preliminary ruling requested by Spanish judge Pablo Llarena at the CJEU.

The hearing on the preliminary ruling requested by Judge Llarena before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is being held in Luxembourg today. All parties will be able to present their arguments within a limited time frame. However, the judges will not rule today but in a few months’ time, once the Advocate General has submitted his conclusions.

Mr Llarena has included all the exiles in this preliminary question, including Esquerra Republicana Secretary General Marta Rovira, even though Switzerland, where she is in exile, does not apply European Arrest Warrants (EAW). Esquerra considers that Judge Llarena does not want to miss the opportunity to make sure they are in force and confirmed by the ECJ in case Ms Rovira leaves the country, a clear warning.

Represented by lawyer Andreu Van den Eynde, Ms Rovira will defend at the hearing today that the Spanish Supreme Court investigating them is not competent to do so. This argument was reinforced after the Supreme Court referred the trial against former minister Meritxell Serret to the Superior Court of Justice in Catalonia. In this regard, Ms Rovira will submit that there is considerable risk that the presumption of innocence of the exiles will be flouted, in view of all the public criminalization campaigns, as well as the many cases of prejudice shown by the Spanish authorities.

Through her lawyer, Marta Rovira also means to submit an important precedent: the Supreme Court has already disregarded and failed to enforce an ECJ ruling in the case of Oriol Junqueras. This was also defended by 3 of the 9 magistrates of the Constitutional Court who yesterday notified their dissenting opinion to the ruling on the writ of Mandamus, where they explain that the Supreme Court breached the duty of loyal cooperation with the ECJ by not guaranteeing Mr Junqueras’ immunity.

With this defence, Esquerra assures that Judge Llarena’s intention is to ascertain whether he can issue as many EAWs as he wishes, even if legal process has been exhausted. He does this by asking the ECJ what criteria must be taken into account by the country that is to execute the European warrant to conclude that the rights of the person claimed are at risk, on the one hand, and on the other, Mr Llarena is also asking if he can issue a new warrant against Lluís Puig after the Belgian courts have already rejected the European warrant against the former minister. It is thus clear to Esquerra that the ultimate goal is to fraudulently seek a second instance.