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Procedure : 2014/2044(IMM)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0291/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0291/2015

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/10/2015 - 15.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0356

Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015 - Brussels Final edition
Request for the waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács
P8_TA(2015)0356A8-0291/2015

European Parliament decision of 14 October 2015 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács (2014/2044(IMM))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács in connection with an investigation to be carried out by the Central Chief Prosecution Office of Hungary, forwarded on 12 May 2014 by Dr Péter Polt, the Prosecutor-General of Hungary, and announced in plenary on 3 July 2014; having regard to the further explanations provided by Dr Polt in his letters of 16 October 2014 and 23 March 2015 and to the exchange of views held with Dr Polt at the meeting of the Committee on Legal Affairs on 14 July 2015,

–  having heard Mr Kovács in accordance with Rule 9(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Article 4(2) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, Sections 10(2) and 12(1) of Act LVII of 2004 on the Status of the Hungarian Members of the European Parliament, and Section 74(1) and (3) of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly of Hungary,

–  having regard to Rules 5(2), 6(1) and 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0291/2015),

A.  whereas the Prosecutor-General of Hungary has requested the waiver of the immunity of a Member of the European Parliament, Béla Kovács, in order that investigations can be carried out, on the basis of reasonable suspicions, to determine whether a charge will lie against him with regard to the offence of espionage against the institutions of the European Union under Section 261/A of Act C of 2012 on the Hungarian Criminal Code; whereas, according to that Section, any person who conducts intelligence activities for a non-European Union country against the European Parliament, the European Commission or the Council of the European Union shall be punishable in accordance with Section 261; whereas, under paragraph (1) of Section 261, any person who conducts intelligence activities for a foreign power or foreign organisation against Hungary is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for between two and eight years;

B.  whereas, according to Article 9 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament must enjoy, on the territory of their own Member State, the immunities accorded to members of that Member State’s parliament;

C.  whereas, according to Article 4(2) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, national Members of Parliament are entitled to immunity; whereas, according to Section 10(2) of Act LVII of 2004 on the Status of the Hungarian Members of the European Parliament, Members of the European Parliament are entitled to immunity equal to the immunity of Members of the Hungarian Parliament; whereas, under Section 74(1) of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly, a criminal procedure can only be instituted or conducted and a coercive measure under criminal procedure applied against a Member with the prior consent of the National Assembly; whereas according to Section 74(3) of the same Act, the request for waiver of immunity is to be made by the Prosecutor- General in order to launch the investigation;

D.  whereas in Case Bf.I.2782/2002, the Hungarian Supreme Court declared that parliamentary immunity is limited to the criminal procedure and does not extend to measures not regulated by the Code of Criminal Procedure aiming at the prevention, detection or demonstration of a crime;

E.  whereas, according to Section 261/A of Act C of 2012 on the Hungarian Criminal Code, the criminal offence for which investigations can be carried out against Béla Kovács is punishable as of 1 January 2014;

F.  whereas, accordingly, the investigation and any subsequent indictment for which the waiver of immunity is sought are limited to events having occurred after 1 January 2014;

G.  whereas, according to the case-law of the Hungarian Supreme Court, the gathering of evidence pursuant to Act CXXV of 1995 on National Security Services prior to that date was lawful and did not require a waiver of immunity;

H.  whereas the criminal investigation will be carried out by the Central Chief Prosecution Office of Investigation; whereas under Article 29(1) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the Prosecutor-General and the Prosecution Service are independent, carry out their constitutional tasks independently from external organisations, and proceed in compliance with the presumption of innocence;

I.  whereas the waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács should be subject to the conditions indicated in Rule 9(6) of the Rules of Procedure;

J.  whereas, in this case, Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, that is to say, a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the request for waiver of immunity was made in connection with proceedings brought with the intention of causing political damage to the Member concerned;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Béla Kovács;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of Hungary and to Béla Kovács.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C‑200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C‑163/10, ECLI: EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.

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