What is Qualified Immunity for Prosecutors

PROPOSAL FOR A DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the motion to waive the immunity of Ioannis Lagos

(2020/2240 (IMM))

The European Parliament,

- dealing with an application submitted by the public prosecutor to the Supreme Court of the Hellenic Republic on October 23, 2020 and announced in plenary on November 11, 2020, for the waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos in connection with the enforcement of judgment No. 2425, 2473 against him , 2506 and 2644/2020 of the Athens Court of Appeal (First Chamber with three criminal judges),

- after hearing Ioannis Lagos in accordance with Rule 9 (6) of its Rules of Procedure,

- based on Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No. 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and on Article 6 Paragraph 2 of the Act of September 20, 1976 introducing direct universal elections for Members of the European Parliament,

- with reference to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of October 21, 2008, March 19, 2010, September 6, 2011, January 17, 2013 and December 19, 2019 [1],

- having regard to Article 62 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic,

- based on Article 5 (2), Article 6 (1) and Article 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Legal Affairs Committee (A9-0136 / 2021),

A. whereas the prosecutor in charge of these proceedings has requested the waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos, Member of the European Parliament, so that the judgment giving Ioannis Lagos a total imprisonment of 13 years and two offenses for one felony and two offenses should be waived 8 months and a fine of EUR 1,300 can be enforced against him;

B. whereas, pursuant to Article 9 of Protocol 7 on the privileges and immunities of the European Union in the territory of their own country, Members of the European Parliament are entitled to the inviolability accorded to Members of Parliament of that country;

C. whereas Ioannis Lagos was elected Member of the European Parliament on July 2, 2019 and that the motion for waiver of immunity concerns facts and charges before he became a Member of the European Parliament, giving him immunity as a Member of the European Parliament status;

D. whereas under Article 62 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic, no member of Parliament may be prosecuted, arrested, detained or subjected to any other deprivation of liberty during his term of office without the approval of the Chamber of Deputies;

E. whereas Ioannis Lagos a) the crime of membership in and leading a criminal organization (Article 187, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Criminal Code) committed between 2008 and the current date in Athens, b) the offense of ordinary gun possession (Law No. 2168/1993), after approved amendment of the original charge of the crime of skilled gun possession, committed on September 30, 2013 in Perama (Attica), and c) the offense of a violation of Law No. 456 / Founded guilty of rocket launchers and fireworks in 1976 in Perama (Attica) on September 29, 2013;

F. whereas the judgment of the Athens Court of Appeal is immediately enforceable as the court ruled that an appeal against the judgment does not have suspensive effect;

G. whereas the Legal Affairs Committee has taken note of the documents which Ioannis Lagos has submitted to the members of the Committee pursuant to Rule 9 (6) of the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure and which it considers relevant to the procedure;

H. whereas the enforcement of the judgment does not concern an expression or vote made in the exercise of his office by Ioannis Lagos pursuant to Article 8 of Protocol 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

I. whereas, in accordance with Article 9 (8) of the Rules of Procedure, the Legal Affairs Committee will in no way express itself on the guilt or non-fault of the member or on the advisability of prosecuting the statements or activities attributed to the member, even if the Committee has examined the application acquired comprehensive knowledge of the underlying facts;

J. whereas it is not for the European Parliament to question the advantages of national legal and judicial systems;

K. whereas the European Parliament is in no way competent to assess or question the case law of the national judicial authorities responsible for the criminal proceedings under consideration in the present case;

L. whereas Ioannis Lagos belongs to a group of people who are in a similar situation, i. H. that they have been sentenced to several years imprisonment by the Athens Court of Appeal for the above offenses, the only difference being that he currently has immunity as a Member of the European Parliament;

M. whereas, under Rule 5 (2) of the Rules of Procedure, parliamentary immunity is not a Member's personal prerogative, but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole and its members;

N. whereas the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to protect Parliament and its Members from legal proceedings relating to activities which they carry out in the exercise of their parliamentary functions and which are inextricably linked therewith;

O. whereas the alleged crimes have no direct and overt connection with Ioannis Lagos' office as Member of the European Parliament;

P. whereas the alleged crimes were alleged to have been committed prior to his election as Member of the European Parliament; whereas, on this basis, it cannot be argued that the legal proceedings initiated in 2014 were initiated with the intention of obstructing the future political activities of Ioannis Lagos as a Member of the European Parliament, given that his status as a Member of the European Parliament was too was still hypothetical at the time and was in the future;

Q. whereas in the present case Parliament could not prove that there was a fumus persecutionis, i. H. Facts which suggest that the judicial proceedings in question are being conducted with the intention of undermining the political activities of the MEP, and therefore the European Parliament;

1. Decides to lift Ioannis Lagos' immunity;

2. Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its competent committee immediately to the Public Prosecutor at the Supreme Court of the Hellenic Republic and Ioannis Lagos.