EURO POLITICS – By Nathalie Vandystadt – 14 July 2011 – The Advocate-General of the EU Court of Justice (ECJ), Eleanor Sharpston, proposed, on 14 July, dismissing France’s appeal against a decision by the EU’s Court of First Instance, in December 2008, to strike from the European list of terrorist organisations the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), the main opponent to the Mullah regime in Iran.
The previous [seems more accurate than ‘most recent’, as in ‘dernieres’] decision by the EU’s Council of Ministers to put the PMOI on this terrorism blacklist (annulled by the CFI) was based on the existence of a UK decision proscribing PMOI – the existence of such a decision by a competent authority at national level being a prerequisite for including an organisation on the EU list. However, PMOI was removed from the list of proscribed organisations in the UK, on 24 June 2008, following a ruling of a British court, in November 2007, which described that listing as “perverse” and “unreasonable”.
When, on 15 July 2008, the Council adopted a new decision updating the EU list, it nevertheless maintained PMOI on the list. The inclusion of PMOI was based on information provided by France. Annulling this decision, the court found that the Council had violated the rights of defence of PMOI by not communicating this new French information before adopting the decision. The court also examined the other arguments put forward by PMOI. In the opinion of the advocate-general, there was no impediment to the Council communicating this information to the PMOI before adopting the decision to include it on the list.
The advocate-general’s opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice. Judgement will be given at a later date.