EU parliament strips Catalan separatist Puigdemont of immunity

March 9, 2021
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The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to strip Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont and two of his colleagues of their immunity as members of the legislature, potentially allowing their extradition to Spain.

In three separate votes on Puigdemont, former regional health minister Toni Comin and former regional education minister Clara Ponsati, 400 or more EU lawmakers voted for the waiver, and just under 250 voted against.

Puigdemont, the former leader of Catalonia’s regional government, and Comin fled to Belgium after authorities cracked down on an outlawed October 2017 referendum on Catalan independence. Ponsati lives in Scotland.

Spanish authorities have sought to extradite them on charges of rebellion and sedition.

Puigdemont and Comin were elected to the European Parliament in 2019; Ponsati took up a seat in 2020.

Their seats granted them immunity from prosecution, but at the request of the Spanish judiciary, the parliament opened an inquiry into the waiver of immunity.

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