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A8-0291/2015

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PV 14/10/2015 - 15.5
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P8_TA(2015)0356

IZVJEŠĆE     
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12.10.2015
PE 565.125v03-00 A8-0291/2015

o zahtjevu za ukidanje imuniteta Béli Kovácsu

(2014/2044(IMM))

Odbor za pravna pitanja

Izvjestitelj: Tadeusz Zwiefka

PRIJEDLOG ODLUKE EUROPSKOG PARLAMENTA

PRIJEDLOG ODLUKE EUROPSKOG PARLAMENTA

o zahtjevu za ukidanje imuniteta Béli Kovácsu

(2014/2044(IMM))

Europski parlament,

–  uzimajući u obzir zahtjev za ukidanje imuniteta Béli Kovácsu u vezi s istragom koju će provesti mađarsko Državno odvjetništvo, koji je 12. svibnja 2014. proslijedio dr. Péter Polt, mađarski glavni državni odvjetnik, i koji je objavljen na plenarnoj sjednici 3. srpnja 2014.; uzimajući u obzir daljnja objašnjenja koja je dr. Polt iznio u svojim pismima od 16. listopada 2014. i 23. ožujka 2015. te razmjenu gledišta s dr. Poltom održanu na sjednici Odbora za pravna pitanja 14. srpnja 2015.,

–  nakon saslušanja g. Kovácsa u skladu s člankom 9. stavkom 5. Poslovnika,

–  uzimajući u obzir članak 9. Protokola br. 7 o povlasticama i imunitetima Europske unije te članak 6. stavak 2. Akta od 20. rujna 1976. o izboru zastupnika u Europski parlament neposrednim općim izborima,

–  uzimajući u obzir presude Suda Europske unije od 12. svibnja 1964., 10. srpnja 1986., 15. i 21. listopada 2008., 19. ožujka 2010., 6. rujna 2011. i 17. siječnja 2013.(1),

–  uzimajući u obzir članak 4. stavak 2. mađarskog Temeljnog zakona, članak 10. stavak 2. i članak 12. stavak 1. Zakona LVII. iz 2004. o statusu mađarskih zastupnika u Europskom parlamentu te članak 74. stavke 1. i 3. Zakona XXXVI. iz 2012. o mađarskoj Nacionalnoj skupštini,

–  uzimajući u obzir članak 5. stavak 2., članak 6. stavak 1. i članak 9. Poslovnika,

–  uzimajući u obzir izvješće Odbora za pravna pitanja (A8-0291/2015),

A.  budući da je mađarski glavni državni odvjetnik zatražio ukidanje imuniteta zastupniku u Europskom parlamentu Béli Kovácsu kako bi se, na temelju osnovane sumnje, protiv njega mogla provesti istraga i kako bi se utvrdilo hoće li se protiv njega podići optužnica zbog kaznenog djela špijunaže na štetu institucija Europske unije sukladno članku 261/A Zakona C iz 2012. o mađarskom Kaznenom zakonu; budući da se, sukladno tom članku, osoba koja obavlja obavještajne aktivnosti za državu koja nije članica Europske unije i na štetu Europskog parlamenta, Europske komisije ili Vijeća Europske unije može kazniti u skladu s člankom 261.; budući da u skladu s člankom 261. stavkom 1. osoba koja obavlja obavještajne aktivnosti za stranu silu ili stranu organizaciju na štetu Mađarske čini kazneno djelo kažnjivo zatvorskom kaznom u trajanju od dvije do osam godina;

B.  budući da u skladu s člankom 9. Protokola o povlasticama i imunitetima Europske unije zastupnici u Europskom parlamentu na državnom području svoje države članice moraju imati pravo uživati imunitet priznat članovima parlamenta te države članice;

C.  budući da u skladu s člankom 4. stavkom 2. mađarskog Temeljnog zakona članovi nacionalnog parlamenta imaju pravo na imunitet; budući da u skladu s člankom 10. stavkom 2. Zakona LVII. iz 2004. o statusu mađarskih zastupnika u Europskom parlamentu zastupnici u Europskom parlamentu imaju jednako pravo na imunitet kao i zastupnici u mađarskom parlamentu; budući da se u skladu s člankom 74. stavkom 1. Zakona XXXVI. iz 2012. o Nacionalnoj skupštini kazneni postupak protiv zastupnika može pokrenuti ili provoditi, a prisilna mjera u okviru kaznenog postupka može primijeniti samo uz prethodnu suglasnost Nacionalne skupštine; budući da u skladu s člankom 74. stavkom 3. istog Zakona zahtjev za ukidanje imuniteta mora podnijeti glavni državni odvjetnik u svrhu pokretanja istrage;

D.  budući da je mađarski Vrhovni sud u predmetu Bf.I.2782/2002 presudio da je parlamentarni imunitet ograničen na kazneni postupak te se ne proteže na mjere koje nisu uređene Zakonom o kaznenom postupku, čija je svrha sprečavanje ili otkrivanje kaznenog djela ili ukazivanje na njega;

E.  budući da je u skladu s člankom 261/A Zakona C iz 2012. o mađarskom Kaznenom zakonu kazneno djelo za koje se može provesti istraga protiv Béle Kovácsa kažnjivo od 1. siječnja 2014.;

F.  budući da su, prema tome, istraga i eventualna naknadna optužnica zbog kojih se traži ukidanje imuniteta ograničene na događaje koji su nastupili nakon 1. siječnja 2014.;

G.  budući da je, u skladu sa sudskom praksom mađarskog Vrhovnog suda, prikupljanje dokaza u skladu sa Zakonom CXXV. iz 1995. o nacionalnim sigurnosnim službama prije tog datuma bilo zakonito i nije bilo potrebe za zahtjevom za ukidanje imuniteta;

H.  budući da će kaznenu istragu provesti Istražni odjel Državnog odvjetništva; budući da su u skladu s člankom 29. stavkom 1. mađarskog Temeljnog zakona glavni državni odvjetnik i Državno odvjetništvo neovisni, izvršavaju svoje ustavne zadaće neovisno o vanjskim organizacijama i postupaju u skladu s pretpostavkom nevinosti;

I.  budući da bi ukidanje imuniteta Béli Kovácsu trebalo podlijegati uvjetima iz članka 9. stavka 6. Poslovnika;

J.  budući da u ovom slučaju ne postoji razlog za pretpostavku, odnosno dovoljno ozbiljna i osnovana sumnja, da je zahtjev za ukidanje imuniteta podnesen u vezi s postupcima koji su pokrenuti s namjerom nanošenja političke štete dotičnom zastupniku (fumus persecutionis);

1.  odlučuje ukinuti imunitet Béli Kovácsu;

2.  nalaže svojem predsjedniku da odmah proslijedi ovu Odluku i izvješće nadležnog odbora nadležnom tijelu Mađarske i Béli Kovácsu.

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1. Background

At the sitting of 3 July 2014 the President announced, under Rule 9(1) of the Rules of Procedure, that he had received a letter from the Prosecutor General of Hungary, Dr Polt, requesting that the immunity of Béla Kovács be waived.

The President referred the request to the Committee on Legal Affairs under Rule 9(1).

In view of the fact that the European Parliament was unable to accept the classified annex to Dr Polt’s initial letter, further explanations were provided by Dr Polt in his letters of 16 October 2014 and 23 March 2015 and an exchange of views was held with him at the meeting of the Committee on Legal Affairs held on 14 July 2015.

The request for the waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács is made in order that investigations can be carried out, on the basis of reasonable suspicions, to see 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. According to that Section, any person who conducts intelligence activities for a non-European Union third country against the European Parliament, the European Commission or the Council of the European Union shall be punishable in accordance with Section 261; paragraph (1) of which provides that any person who conducts intelligence activities for a foreign power or foreign organisation against Hungary is guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of between two and eight years.

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.

According to the information provided by the Prosecutor General, Mr Kovács’ covert contacts with Russian intelligence officers were first detected in 2010 by the Hungarian Constitution Protection Office in the course of its investigation into the activities of certain foreign nationals. According to the case-law of the Hungary Supreme Court, this gathering of evidence pursuant to Act CXXV of 1995 on National Security Services prior to 1 January 2014 was lawful and did not require the waiver of immunity.

The Prosecutor has made it clear that the investigation and any subsequent indictment for which the waiver of immunity is sought are limited to events having occurred after 1 January 2014.

It is further noted that the criminal investigation will be carried out by the Central Chief Prosecution Office of Investigation and that, 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.

Mr Kovács submits that, since Section 261/A of Act C of 2012 has been in force only since 1 January 2014, he could not be charged for acts committed prior to that date because of Article 49 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which, reflecting the general principle nullum crimen sine lege, provides that no one shall be held guilty of any criminal office on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national law or international law at the time when it was committed. Mr Kovács further claims that his activities in 2014 do not fall within Section 261/A.

Mr Kovács further argues that the surveillance conducted against him was unlawful, that there was a violation of the presumption of innocence, that Section 118(5) of Act CLXXXVI of 2013 criminalising espionage against the institutions of the EU was passed specifically in order to make Mr Kovács’ behaviour punishable and that the classification of the whole case is unlawful and unreasonable.

2. Law and procedure on the immunity of Members of the European Parliament

Article 9 of the Protocol (No 7) on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union reads as follows:

Article 9

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 other Member States, immunity from any measures or 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.

Given that the waiver of immunity is being sought for Hungary, the Hungarian law on parliamentary immunity applies pursuant to Article 9, first paragraph, point a. Under Article 4(2) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, Members of Parliament are entitled to immunity. 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 and Section 74(1) of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly provides that a criminal procedure can only be instituted or conducted and a coercive measure under criminal procedure can only be applied against a Member with the prior consent of the National Assembly. Lastly, according to Section 74(3), the request for waiver of immunity is to be made by the Prosecutor-General.

Rules 6(1) and 9 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament read as follows:

Rule 6

Waiver of immunity

1. In the exercise of its powers in respect of privileges and immunities, Parliament acts to uphold its integrity as a democratic legislative assembly and to secure the independence of its Members in the performance of their duties. Any request for waiver of immunity shall be evaluated in accordance with Articles 7, 8 and 9 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and with the principles referred to in this Rule.

(...)

Rule 9

Procedures on immunity

1. Any request addressed to the President by a competent authority of a Member State that the immunity of a Member be waived, or by a Member or a former Member that privileges and immunities be defended, shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible.

The Member or former Member may be represented by another Member. The request may not be made by another Member without the agreement of the Member concerned.

2. The committee shall consider without delay, but having regard to their relative complexity, requests for the waiver of immunity or requests for the defence of privileges and immunities.

3. The committee shall make a proposal for a reasoned decision which recommends the adoption or rejection of the request for the waiver of immunity or for the defence of privileges and immunities.

4. The committee may ask the authority concerned to provide any information or explanation which the committee deems necessary in order for it to form an opinion on whether immunity should be waived or defended.

5. The Member concerned shall be given an opportunity to be heard, may present any

documents or other written evidence deemed by that Member to be relevant and may be represented by another Member.

The Member shall not be present during debates on the request for waiver or defence of his or her immunity, except for the hearing itself.

The chair of the committee shall invite the Member to be heard, indicating a date and time. The Member may renounce the right to be heard.

If the Member fails to attend the hearing pursuant to that invitation, he or she shall be deemed to have renounced the right to be heard, unless he or she has asked to be excused from being heard on the date and at the time proposed, giving reasons. The chair of the committee shall rule on whether such a request to be excused is to be accepted in view of the reasons given, and no appeals shall be permitted on this point.

If the chair of the committee grants the request to be excused, he or she shall invite the Member to be heard at a new date and time. If the Member fails to comply with the second invitation to be heard, the procedure shall continue without the Member having been heard. No further requests to be excused, or to be heard, may then be accepted.

(...)

7. The committee may offer a reasoned opinion as to the competence of the authority in question and the admissibility of the request, but shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt or otherwise of the Member nor on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to him or her justify prosecution, even if, in considering the request, it acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case.

(...)

3. Justification for the proposed decision

On the basis of the aforementioned facts, this case qualifies for the application of Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.

Pursuant to that provision, Members enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of the Parliament of that State.

In order to decide whether or not to waive a Member’s parliamentary immunity, the European Parliament applies its own consistent principles. One of these principles is that immunity is usually waived when the offence falls within Article 9 of Protocol No 7, provided that there is no fumus persecutionis, i.e. a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the matter is being raised with the intention of causing political damage to the Member concerned.

After exchanges of letters with the national authorities, the hearing of the Member concerned, the circulation of written submissions, an exhaustive debate in the competent committee and an additional requested exchange of views with the Prosecutor General, it is considered that there is no fumus persecutionis in this case.

More specifically as regards the argument based on the principle nullum crimen sine lege, it appears clearly from the statements of the Prosecutor General that the investigation and any subsequent indictment for which the waiver of immunity is sought are limited to events having occurred after 1 January 2014, the date on which Section 261/A of Act C of 2012 on the Hungarian Criminal Code entered into effect. Moreover, 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. Lastly, it is not for Parliament to adjudge in immunity proceedings whether Mr Kovács’ claim that his activities in 2014 do not fall within Section 261/A is justified.

Likewise, Mr Kovács’ other arguments alleging fumus persecutionis seem unfounded or to go beyond the compass of a procedure for the waiver of parliamentary immunity.

First, in the light of the aforementioned case-law of the Hungarian Supreme Court according to which 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, his claim that the surveillance conducted against him was unlawful has no bearing on the procedure for waiver of his immunity, particularly since his alleged covert contacts with Russian intelligence officers were first detected by the Hungarian Constitution Protection Office in the course of its investigation into the activities of certain foreign nationals, not of Mr Kovács himself.

Secondly, the claims that there was a violation of the presumption of innocence, that Section 118(5) of Act CLXXXVI of 2013 criminalising espionage against the institutions of the EU was passed specifically in order to make Mr Kovács’ behaviour punishable and that the classification of the whole case is unlawful and unreasonable do not square with the request for waiver of immunity which has been made in order that investigations maybe carried out, on the basis of reasonable suspicions, to see whether a charge will lie against him.

On a proper analysis, these claims constitute only objections or defences to hypothetical criminal proceedings, which have not yet been brought and may never be brought. Indeed, Mr Kovács himself concedes that he is officially not a suspect. The fact, once again, that the Prosecutor-General is constitutionally independent and proceeds in compliance with the presumption of innocence is sufficient to allay any fears of fumus persecutionis.

Lastly, it is emphasised that waiver of immunity does not entail in any way a judgement as to the Member's guilt or innocence.

4. Conclusion

On the basis of the above considerations and pursuant to Rule 9(3) of the Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Legal Affairs recommends that the European Parliament should waive the parliamentary immunity of Mr Béla Kovács.

REZULTAT KONAČNOG GLASOVANJAU NADLEŽNOM ODBORU

Datum usvajanja

12.10.2015

 

 

 

Rezultat konačnog glasovanja

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(1)

Presuda Suda od 12. svibnja 1964. u predmetu 101/63, Wagner protiv Fohrmanna i Kriera, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; presuda Suda od 10. srpnja 1986. u predmetu 149/85, Wybot protiv Faurea i ostalih, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; presuda Općeg suda od 15. listopada 2008. u predmetu T-345/05, Mote protiv Parlamenta, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; presuda Suda od 21. listopada 2008. u spojenim predmetima C-200/07 i C-201/07 Marra protiv De Gregorija i Clementea, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; presuda Općeg suda od 19. ožujka 2010. u predmetu T-42/06, Gollnisch protiv Parlamenta, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; presuda Suda od 6. rujna 2011. u predmetu C-163/10, Patriciello, ECLI: EU:C:2011:543; presuda Općeg suda od 17. siječnja 2013. u spojenim predmetima T-346/11 i T-347/11, Gollnisch protiv Parlamenta, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.

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