Tuesday, March 08, 2011

That Brok immunity

I have already reported on the odd decision of the Legal Affairs Committee to grant Elmar Brok, veteran federast supreme, immunity from prosecution in his legal case about tax evasion.

Now Mary Ellen Synon has taken up the cudgels about the case.
The German authorities last September requested the European Parliament to waive the immunity from legal proceedings enjoyed by Brok and all other MEPs. The Public Prosecutor of Bielefeld wants to bring a criminal action against Brok for failure to report a €5,000 (£4,300) fee paid to him for giving a speech (one speech? Five k for 30 minutes? It was paid to him by HypoVereinsbank Group, a large Munich-based bank now owned by Italy's Unicredit. There may be another story in there, but I'll stick to the one about the tax for the moment).

The Public Prosecutor said in a letter to the committee that 'it is not possible at this stage to exclude the possibility that he [Brok] has received additional income form similar sources of which the relevant tax authorities are as yet unaware.'

What was the committee's response to that? Speroni declared the attempt at prosecution was 'a clear case of fumus persecutionis.' That means it showed signs of persecution for political reasons.

And the evidence of such persecution is what, exactly? That since the prosecutor hadn't told Brok of all the evidence they had against him and the story had run in news reports, 'It is therefore plain that the case is one of fumus persecutionis in that is appears the proceedings were brought with the sole aim of damaging the reputation of the Member concerned.'
An interesting aside. If you look at the report itself you can see that the only British MEP involved in the debate (and yes he did vote to grant the immunity) was Sajjad Karim, the former Lib Dem who became a Tory, so earning himself the moniker 'Salvaj Kareer'.

Mr Karim is obviously a doughty defender of the rights of politicians to be a law unto themselves.

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