The PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure has found that four individual members named in the report of the Independent Investigation Body looking into allegations of corruption within the Assembly have “seriously breached” its Code of Conduct, and ruled that all four should be temporarily deprived of a number of rights in the Assembly – including the right to be appointed or act as a rapporteur, to stand for a number of key posts, or to observe elections.
Following a hearing yesterday in Paris with three of the four members concerned – the fourth had already attended an earlier hearing – the committee decided that the sanctions should apply to Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD) for a period of ten years, and Cezar Florin Preda (Romania, EPP/CD), Samad Seyidov (Azerbaijan, EC) and Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE) for a period of two years.
All four, while remaining members of the Assembly with the right to speak, will be banned during these periods from acting as a rapporteur or an election observer, and cannot be Chair or Vice-Chair of any committee or sub-committee, or stand for election as President of the Assembly.
They will not be able to represent the Assembly or its committees at any third-party events, and will also be deprived of the right to address questions to the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe’s executive body.
This was the second hearing of the Rules Committee concerning the conduct of individual members, using powers in the Assembly’s Code of Conduct, and forms part of the Assembly’s follow-up to the report of the Investigation Body. A first hearing was held in Strasbourg on 25 April 2018.