After so many troubles, Europe has given good news to the Supreme Court. The sentence handed down this Tuesday by the Court of Justice of the EU leaves out of play the excuses that the Belgian Justice had used for not executing the request for the handover of former Minister Lluís Puig and that by extension were a barrier to the handover of Carles Puigdemont and others who fled from the process.

The victory of Judge Llarena, who questioned the refusal before the Court of Luxembourg, allows the investigating magistrate of the Supreme Court to issue new Euro-orders against the fled defendants. The CJEU has expressly told him that he can do it. And when these Euro-orders arrive before a Belgian court, its magistrates will no longer be able to claim that the Supreme Court was not the competent body to claim the fugitives. Or that there is a risk that the former president or former ministers see their rights violated in case of delivery.

Those doors have been closed by the CJUE in its ruling on Tuesday. On the one hand, it denies that a Belgian court can enter to examine which Spanish court is competent for a matter. And as for the possible violation of rights, the conditions to be able to wield it are so strict that it is not credible that the Belgian Justice can consider them fulfilled. The CJEU indicates that for this it would be necessary to demonstrate the existence of “systemic or generalized deficiencies in the functioning of the judicial system of the issuing Member State or deficiencies that affect the judicial protection of an objectively identifiable group of people to which the interested party belongs”.

In its resolutions denying delivery, the Belgian Justice itself expressly denied that these deficiencies existed. This was recalled by the EU lawyer a few months ago, when he positioned himself in favor of Spain and compliance with the Euro-orders of the Supreme Court. The judgment of the Court of Luxembourg coincides with the position of the EU lawyer.

The aspect of the violation of rights is reminiscent of the case resolved in favor of Spain in another European court, the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. This refers to Belgium’s refusal to hand over ETA member Natividad Jáuregui, alleging that she ran the risk of having her rights violated in Spain. Strasbourg, which uses the same criteria as the CJEU in this area, told Belgium that in order to deny delivery, it had to demonstrate these deficiencies in the Spanish Justice. The result was that Belgium handed over the terrorist, who is now in a Spanish prison.

With today’s ruling, the CJEU has removed one of the obstacles to handing over the fugitives, but another persists. It is about the immunity that Puigdemont and Comín enjoy as European parliamentarians. For the effective delivery of the former president, it will be necessary for the European institutions to accept the delivery despite this circumstance.

At this time there are no active Euro-orders against the former president and other fugitives from the 1-O investigation. Llarena had left them on hold pending the CJEU ruling and ended up deactivating them a few days ago as a result of the reform of the crimes of sedition and embezzlement. The first was the main crime for which Puigdemont was claimed and Llarena interpreted that, having disappeared, a new Euro-warrant was necessary to claim him, this time for disobedience and embezzlement.

It is likely that before issuing these new European arrest and surrender requests, the Supreme Court magistrate will wait for the resolution of the Prosecutor’s appeal in which he requests that the Euro-warrants not only be for disobedience, but also include aggravated public disorder, a crime which, in his opinion, can still be attributed to Puigdemont after the disappearance of the sedition.

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