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Parliamentary questions
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3 September 2018
Question for written answer E-004475-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Xabier Benito Ziluaga (GUE/NGL) , Bodil Valero (Verts/ALE) , Julie Ward (S&D) , Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE) , Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz (ALDE)

 Subject:  Missing Basque citizen found dead in Sweden: transfer of remains
 Answer in writing 

On 22 September 2005, a corpse with a photocopied Spanish identity document was washed ashore on the River Lidingö in Sweden. It was on this basis alone that the Swedish authorities and the Spanish Embassy identified the body as that of Miguel Ángel Martínez Santamaría. At the request of the family, the body was then transferred to London, but was not accompanied by a laissez-passer or document indicating the cause of death.

Under the Council of Europe Agreement on the Transfer of Corpses of 26 October 1973, any corpse shall, during the transfer, be accompanied by a special document (laissez-passer for a corpse) issued by the competent authority of the State of departure. If, for reasons of professional secrecy, the cause of death is not indicated, a certificate stating the cause must be placed in a sealed envelope accompanying the corpse during transfer and presented to the competent authority in the State of destination.

1. Does the Commission consider that the Swedish and Spanish authorities infringed the Council of Europe Agreement of 26 October 1973?

2. Does it consider that the British authorities acted illegally in burying the corpse without first determining the cause of death and without identifying it?

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 18 September 2018Legal notice