Key facts of the case:
An Italian MEP was charged, in Italy, and, therefore, clearly outside the precincts of EP, of having falsy accused a municipal police officer by claiming that this officer had forged documents (by stating false times in parking tickets issued to other persons than the MEP himself). On request of the MEP concerned, EP stated that this action was covered by parliamentarian immunity, under Article 6 (3) of its rules of Procedure.
The Italian criminal court having doubts as to the applicability of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 referred insofar to ECJ (whereas the applicability of Article 9 of this Protocol was denied by this court beforehand, in interpretation of the domestic law this provision is referring to).
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
Article 8 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, annexed to the EU, FEU and EAEC Treaties, must be interpreted to the effect that a statement made by a Member of the European Parliament beyond the precincts of that institution and giving rise to prosecution in his Member State of origin for the offence of making false accusations does not constitute an opinion expressed in the performance of his parliamentary duties covered by the immunity afforded by that provision unless that statement amounts to a subjective appraisal having a direct, obvious connection with the performance of those duties. It is for the court making the reference to determine whether those conditions have been satisfied in the case in the main proceedings.