Esquerra Republicana demands the immediate release of party president and the trial of democracy annulled
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled today that the President of Esquerra Republicana and MEP Oriol Junqueras had immunity as a Member of the European Parliament as soon as he was elected as such. According to the ruling, the Spanish Supreme Court should have lifted the Republican leader’s provisional imprisonment so he could attend the European Parliament to take up his seat. Mr Junqueras was accused of sedition for organising the independence referendum on October 1, 2017 and sentenced on October 14th to thirteen years in prison, after two years in pre-trial detention.
The reactions of the Republican party were not long in coming. The national coordinator of Esquerra Republicana and Vice President of the Catalan Government, Pere Aragonès, was emphatic in calling for the "immediate release" of Oriol Junqueras. Mr Aragonès also said that "justice comes, it takes time but it comes, and it comes from Europe. Today's is a historic victory for Mr Junqueras, the constituents and European citizens. The Junqueras doctrine has been established to guarantee the rights of the European electorate," he said.
The national coordinator, accompanied by the Republican parliamentary group, called for Spanish justice to apply the ECJ sentence and to annul Spain’s Supreme Court sentence: "We want Mr Junqueras to come home, to dedicate himself to institutional politics again. Oriol is returning."
Oriol Junqueras has immunity like all other MEPs as of the day he is elected. Who decides who is an MEP or not in this house are the citizens, not Justice.Diana Riba MEP of Esquerra Republicana
For her part, MEP Diana Riba stated in Strasbourg that "Oriol Junqueras has immunity like all other MEPs as of the day he is elected. Who decides who is an MEP or not in this house are the citizens, not Justice." Riba also called for Oriol Junqueras to be released "so he can be an MEP with every right, just like any other MEP."
The Member of the Parliament of Catalonia Ruben Wagensberg said speaking from the floor that with the ECJ sentence on "the immunity of Oriol Junqueras, justice has been done." "Junqueras must be freed and we demand the annulment of the sentence," he added.
Several Esquerra Republicana leaders, members of parliament and senators also reacted to the news of Oriol Junqueras's immunity with the hashtag #JunquerasImmunity.