Carles Puigdemont said he, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí were very calm when they arrived at the European Parliament to be heard by the committee that will have to decide on their parliamentary immunity. Confidentiality is essential in a closed process. This is why the former president of the Generalitat has questioned whether the president of the committee, Adrián Vázquez MEP, respects confidentiality after he stated at a press conference hours before the hearing that Belgium's refusal to extradite former Catalan minister Lluís Puig has "nothing to do" with the case of the three MEPs.
"I will respect confidentiality; if other members consider they needn't, it is their responsibility, not mine", said Puigdemont when asked about Vázquez's statements, who had already expressed the same opinion the day before in an interview in La Vanguardia. The former president's entourage questions the neutrality of the Ciudadanos MEP, considering that he does not make similar statements about the rest of the MEPs of other nationalities whose revocation of parliamentary immunity he also has to examine.
Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín feel "strengthened" after the refusal of the Belgian justice system to extradite Lluís Puig, which was decided last week. The Belgian appeal judge considered that the Spanish Supreme Court was not the competent body to request the European arrest warrant, which is also the position the three MEPs from Junts defend this.
This is therefore one of the arguments they will be making during the 15 minutes they each have to explain themselves to the other members of the legal affairs committee. They will then have to individually address the questions of the committee members. In total, between presentations, questions and answers, each Junts MEP will have 45 minutes.
The process is semi-presential, so only the three MEPs involved, the committee chairman and some committee members, such as MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons, attended in person. The rapporteur who will have to draw up the three reports with the conclusion on Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí's immunity, Bulgarian ultra-conservative Angel Dzhambazki, was also present.