Sued parliament members defend their immunity in court
Barcelona (ACN).- Lluís Corominas and Ramona Barrufet, MPs from the liberal PDeCAT party and members of the Parliament Bureau, testified before the court this Friday in relation to the debate on independence in the Chamber that they allowed to take place. They are accused of disobedience and perversion of justice, the same crimes which Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell and two other members of the Chamber are accused of. Corominas and Barrufet appealed to the principle of parliamentary immunity which says they cannot be sued. On Monday, Forcadell and the Parliament’s first secretary, Anna Simó, used the same argument when they testified before the High Court. The last member of the Parliament Bureau to be brought before the court will be Joan Josep Nuet, an MP from the alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’. He is due to testify on June 12.
According to judicial sources, Corominas, who testified first, ratified Forcadell and Simó’s version. He insisted that the members of the Parliament Bureau did “all they had to do” by admitting the proposal on a pro-independence referendum and insisted that his actions were proper. Later, he appealed to the principle of parliamentary immunity and refused to answer any other questions. Barrufet acted in the same way.
Following her statement to the court last Monday, Forcadell defended in a press conference that “it is not a crime to speak up, discuss, and vote in a parliament” and insisted that neither she nor her Bureau “will bend before those who want to restrict the freedom of expression in parliament and therefore the freedom of expression of our citizens”. She also accused the court of undermining parliamentary immunity instead of protecting it and reminded them of its importance “in order to guarantee the true separation of powers in a democracy”.