RAPORT Teema: Taotlus Koldo Gorostiaga immuniteedi ja privileegide kaitsmiseks

25.1. 2005                                                                                                                                          

Õigusasjade komisjon
Raportöör: Klaus-Heiner Lehne
PR_IMM_art 6-3

Menetlus : 2004/2102(IMM)
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Koldo Gorostiaga immuniteedi ja privileegide kaitsmise taotluse kohta


Euroopa Parlament,

-         võttes arvesse Koldo Gorostiaga taotlust tema immuniteedi kaitsmiseks seoses Prantsuse kohtus 7. juulil 2004. a toimunud menetlusega, millest teavitati 22. juuli 2004. a täiskogu istungil;

–         võttes arvesse 8. aprilli 1965. a privileegide ja immuniteetide protokolli artikleid 8, 9 ja 10 ja 20. septembri 1976. a Euroopa Parlamendi liikmete valimist puudutava akti artikli 6 lõiget 2;

-         võttes arvesse Euroopa Ühenduste Kohtu 12. mai 1964. a ja 10. juuli 1986. a otsuseid[1];

-         võttes arvesse parlamendi kodukorra artikli 6 lõiget 3 ja artiklit 7;

-         võttes arvesse õigusasjade komisjoni raportit (A6-0006/2005);

A.       arvestades, et Koldo Gorostiaga valiti Euroopa Parlamenti 13. juunil 1999. a toimunud viiendatel otsestel valimistel, ja arvestades et tema volitusi kontrolliti 15. detsembril 1999, ja tema ametiaeg lõppes 19. juulil 2004;

B.        arvestades, et Koldo Gorostiaga kaebuse kohaselt arestiti teatav osa temale kuuluvast rahast Pariisi esimese astme kohtu poolt ja arvestades, et vastavalt tema väidetele oli nende summade näol tegemist talle parlamendi poolt makstud lisatasudega;

C.       arvestades, et Koldo Gorostiaga kinnitab, et väidetavalt talle kuuluva vara arestimine on privileegide ja immuniteetide protokolli rikkumine;

D.       arvestades, et Koldo Gorostiaga kaebuse kohaselt olevat ta vastavalt 11. juuni 2004. a otsusele Pariisi apellatsioonikohtu teise uurimisega tegeleva koja „kohtueelse uurimise all“ ning et selle näol on tegemist privileegide ja immuniteetide protokolli rikkumisega;

E.        arvestades, et Koldo Gorostiaga esitatud tõenditest lähtuvalt ei ole ta parlamentaarse immuniteediga kaitstud ühegi süüdistuse eest, millest on teavitatud Euroopa Parlamendi presidenti;

otsustab mitte kaitsta Koldo Gorostiaga immuniteeti ja privileege.

  • [1]  Vt kohtuasja 101/63: Wagner versus Fohrmann ja Krier, EKL 1964, lk 195 ning kohtuasja 149/85: Wybot versus Faure ja teised, EKL 1986, lk 2391.


I. Facts of the case

1. A certain sum of money (EUR 200 304), that Mr Gorostiaga claims to be his property (points 1 and 2 of his letter), was seized by the Court of First Instance of Paris in Case P.02.082.3902/5.

The above-mentioned sum was found in possession of the treasurer of "Euskal Herritarrok" and Mr Gorostiaga claims that this comes from the allowances paid to him by Parliament[1] (point 3 of this letter). The seizure of the money has been the subject of an unsuccessful appeal by the former Member (points 4 and 5 of his letter).

Mr Gorostiaga maintains that this seizure violates his parliamentary immunity as conferred by Article 9 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of 8 April 1965 (PPI), because "parliamentary immunity is intended to ensure the personal protection of Members... and constitute a procedural safeguard... " (point 7 of his letter) and because " immunity ... extends against... his property... " (point 8 of his letter).

He also affirms that the seizure violates Article 10(b) of the Protocol (point 7) because he considers that "legal proceedings ... should be interpreted as including any measure provided ... which prevents the Member from performing the duties...". The seizure of the money constitutes - according to Mr Gorostiaga - a "legal proceeding" impeding the Member in the performance of his duties as parliamentarian (point 8)

Thirdly, he claims that the seizure of the money from the treasurer on the ground of contravention of customs regulations was in breach of Article 7 of the PPI (he clearly meant Article 8).

In conclusion, Mr Gorostiaga asserts that the seizure of his alleged property amounts to a violation of the PPI.

2. The second complaint made by Mr Gorostiaga is that he would have been declared "mis en examen" (under examination) by the second investigating Chamber of the Court of Appeals of Paris, on 11 June 2004, in connection with Case P.02.082.3902/5.

He therefore considers (point 10 of his letter) that he has been somehow prosecuted or under investigation, and hence that the proceedings were conducted in breach of Article 9 of the PPI (points 10, 11 and 12 of his letter).

II. Procedure

1.      The relevant provisions of the Rules of Procedure are Rules 6 and 6a, in particular Rule 6(1) and (3):

'1. In the exercise of its powers in respect of privileges and immunities, Parliament shall seek primarily to uphold its integrity as a democratic legislative assembly and to secure the independence of its Members in performance of their duties.

3. Any request addressed to the President by a Member or a former Member to defend privileges and immunities shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible.'

2.      As the President of Parliament considered that Koldo Gorostiaga had opened the procedure for defending his immunity, as laid down in the above-mentioned Rules, the request was announced in Parliament.

3.      The formal requirements have therefore been met for the matter to be referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs.

III. Applicable provisions

1.        Articles 8, 9 and 10 of the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities (PPI)[2]

Those articles read as follows:

Article 8

No administrative or other restriction shall be imposed on the free movement of Members of the European Parliament travelling to or from the place of meeting of the European Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament shall, in respect of customs and exchange control, be accorded:

    (a) by their own government, the same facilities as those accorded to senior officials travelling abroad on temporary official missions;

    (b) by the government of other Member States, the same facilities as those accorded to representatives of foreign governments on temporary official missions.

Article 9

Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties.

Article 10

During the sessions of the European Parliament, its Members shall enjoy:

    (a) in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament;

    (b) in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of detention and from legal proceedings.

Immunity shall likewise apply to Members while they are travelling to and from the place of meeting of the European Parliament.

Immunity cannot be claimed when a Member is found in the act of committing an offence and shall not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its Members.

2. Before assessing the possible infringement of the PPI, it is useful to state three facts which affect every transgression denounced by the former Member:

(a) it has not been proved that the money seized by the French authorities is undoubtedly the money paid by Parliament as indemnities or as travel expenses to the former Member. The money was seized from the treasurer of a political party, " Euskal Herritarrok", not from the former Member. Mr Gorostiaga's claim that the money seized is the money paid to him by Parliament remains to be ascertained;

(b) Case No P.02.082.3902/5 initiated in France has been brought not against the former Member but against two other members of "Euskal Herritarrok", Mikel Corcuera and Jon Gorrotxategi. Mr Gorostiaga was later involved in the procedure and only because he claimed to be the owner of the money seized[3];

(c) Mr Gorostiaga has not at any time been prosecuted. Only the judgment of the "Court d'appel de Paris" of 11 June 2004 makes reference to Mr Gorostiaga as a person mis en examen; no other point of the judgment makes reference to any kind of proceedings brought or to be brought against Mr Gorostiaga.

3. It is instructive to consider how and to what extent the above-mentioned facts and allegations fall within the scope of the privileges and immunities granted by Chapter III, Articles 8 to10(b) of the PPI:

(1) Article 8, second paragraph, point (b) grants MEPs in other Member States, with respect to customs and exchange control, the same facilities as those accorded to representatives of foreign governments on temporary official missions.

This protection is granted only to Members and not to their aides or assistants or any other persons working with them. The wording of the article admits of no other interpretation.

But even if this protection could be extended to assistants (an argument which it is difficult to uphold given the wording of this article and the following), the formalities provided for by Article 27 of the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on diplomatic relations (which requires an official document indicating the status of the diplomatic courier) have not been met.

(2) Article 9 grants full protection to members in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties.

In the light of the cases considered by the Committee on Legal Affairs and the clear-cut language of this article of the Protocol, it is difficult to accept that the facts established in point I.1. of this Explanatory Statement could fall within the circumstances considered in this article. Moreover, the money was seized from a third person and not from the Member himself. Article 9 protects members in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast in Parliament, or even when they are not physically within the premises of the House, but is limited to circumstances in which they are acting solely as parliamentarians.

Even if the money been seized from Mr Gorostiaga, or even if the connection between the money and the Member were clearly established, it would still be very difficult to conclude that the situation under consideration falls within the scope of the protection afforded by Article 9. The Committee on Legal Affairs has always been very careful not to extend the scope of this article beyond its natural purpose[4].

(3) Article 10 provides: "During the sessions of the European Parliament its Members shall enjoy: ...( b) in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of detention and from legal proceedings".

As has already been established, there are no proceedings against Mr Gorostiaga in France. This fact confounds his ambiguous declaration as to his having been mis en examen - an affirmation that has not had any follow-up or effect at any time throughout the proceedings against the treasurer.

Secondly, it is highly doubtful that Article 10 can apply to former Members of Parliament. There exists no case-law covering this situation.

When a Member ceases to be a parliamentarian, he may need to be defended against an attack on him for an opinion or a vote in Parliament (which is why Rule 6(3) makes provision for such a situation), but it is difficult to see how the protection can extend beyond Article 9 of the Protocol. Articles 8 and 10 appear to be limited by the case-law of the Court of Justice and the cases considered by the Committee on Legal Affairs to cases involving active Members of Parliament during parliamentary sessions.

IV. Conclusion

On the basis of the above considerations and pursuant to Article 6(3) of the Rules of Procedure, after consideration of the reasons for and against defending the Member's immunity, the Committee on Legal Affairs recommends that the European Parliament should not defend the parliamentary immunity of Mr Koldo Gorostiaga.

  • [1]  Mr Gorostiaga was elected a Member of the EP in 1999 in the list of the Spanish political party Euskal Herritarrok/Batasuna. This political party was later held to be unlawful in Spain by the Supreme Court and declared illegal. It was also included in the list of terrorist organisations established by the European Union. This situation of his party did not affect his mandate as a Member.
  • [2]  The protocols annexed to the original Treaties form part of primary Community law and have the same legal status as the Treaties themselves. The judgment in a case concerning the liability of Community officials for property tax made clear that a breach of the provisions of the PPI represented a breach of the obligations arising out of the Treaties (judgment of 24 February 1988 in Case 260/86 Commission v Belgium [1988] ECR. 966).
  • [3]  According to the facts as alleged by the former Member before the Court of Justice in Case T-146/04 Gorostiaga Atxalandabaso v European Parliament, he ordered the withdrawal from a bank account (opened by him and his political party) of the sum of € 210.304 and delivered € 200.300 to the treasurer of Euskal Herritarrok, who was arrested when he arrived in France with the money in cash. The proceedings were subsequently referred to the Court of First Instance of Paris.
  • [4]  See the case of the request to waive Mr Camre's immunity (A5-0243/2003 - P5_TA(2003)0308), in which Parliament recalled that it had chosen to pursue a restricted interpretation of Article 9.



Taotlus Koldo Gorostiaga immuniteedi ja privileegide kaitsmise kohta

Menetluse number


Saadikupuutumatuse äravõtmise taotlus

taotluse esitamise kuupäev
istungil teada andmise kuupäev

Koldo Gorostiaga

Vastutav komisjon
istungil teada andmise kuupäev



art 6 lg 3 ja art 7

nimetamise kuupäev

Klaus Heiner Lehne



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