Anna Gabriel remains in Switzerland and will not attend her declaration at the Supreme Court

Catalan MonitorCatalan News Agency, News Roundup

Photo: Anna Gabriel will not appear as requested, before Judge Llarena (Credit: ACN)

By Staff Writers,
February 20th, 2018

The ex-deputy from the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), Anna Gabriel, remains in Geneva, Switzerland, and will not appear tomorrow before Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena, where she has been called to make an initial declaration, as part of an investigation into her role in the pro-sovereignty process. She has revealed this in an interview published in the Swiss daily, “Le Temps” and in statements to Radio Television Switzerland (RTS), she has not ruled out asking for political asylum.

Anna Gabriel’s defense lawyer has informed the [Spanish] Supreme Court that her representative will not appear in court before the judge either. In a paper delivered this morning by the solicitor, it is assumed that the leader of the CUP will remain in Switzerland.

In “Le Temps”, the former deputy stated that will not return to Spain, since she is being “persecuted” because of her political ideas:

“I will not go to Madrid. Because I would not have a fair trial in my country, I have sought out a country which will protect my rights.”

In the interview, Anna Gabriel claims that the “government press” has already declared her “guilt” and explains that the Spanish government wants to silence the pro-independence movement by force:

“I have always campaigned for the referendum, but in a peaceful way. The question of Catalonia should be resolved politically, although the Spanish authorities want to destroy pro-independence through repression.”

Photo: The Article in Le Temps

Gabriel compares the situation of Spain with Turkey

The leader of the CUP claims in the interview that the Spanish government “does nothing to ensure our security in the face of the violence by fascists.” In this regard, Gabriel was referring to the death threats that she says she receives regularly from far-right groups. She goes on to compare the situation in Spain “with what is going on at the moment in Turkey.”

In the interview with the Swiss newspaper, Anna Gabriel denounces a “witch-hunt of about 900 people”, investigated or accused, “of teachers, politicians, politicians, and even mere voters.”

In relation to her summons to appear at the Supreme Court, the CUP leader says that she prefers to avoid possible pre-trial detention:

“I will be more useful with freedom to move than behind bars. I have seen the rotten luck that my colleagues have suffered in jail, and I have decided that I should leave. I am not the only one at risk of being jailed. The rest of the government is under threat too.”

In another interview, to Radio Switzerland Television (RTS), Anna Gabriel confirmed that tomorrow she will not travel to Madrid.

“There is the possibility that the judge may request my extradition, and then it will be for Switzerland to decide whether I ought to be extradited. We have undertaken analysis with lawyers, and understand that extradition would be illegal because there is no basis for the crime and we have a number of arguments which defend the position that this is a political persecution.”

The CUP leader went on to explain that “Switzerland does not agree to extraditions for political purposes, as is my case. But if you do agree to extraditing me, I could be imprisoned in the country awaiting my extradition”. Gabriel didn’t rule out asking for political asylum.

“If I stay in Switzerland I will try to resume my academic life. I am a law professor at the University of Barcelona. I will try to work and I will try to get settled in here. And if I can’t because they agree to my extradition, I will ask for political asylum.”

The CUP convened an informative meeting this afternoon to discuss the summons of the former deputy to the Supreme.

Gabriel is following the same strategy as Carles Puigdemont, who, along with cabinet members Antoni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Lluís Puig and Meritxell Serret, have been in Belgium since the end of October.

This weekend it came out that Gabriel was in Switzerland and he had hired a defense lawyer known to be an expert in extraditions. At the same time, several leaders of the CUP publicly promoted the strategy of internationalizing the sovereignty process. On Wednesday, it will remain to be seen whether Judge Llarena issues an international arrest warrant for Gabriel.

This morning, statements from other members of the Catalan government continue, before the Supreme Court judge. The recent president of the PDeCAT and former president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, who was already sentenced to two years of disqualification and had to pay a multi-million euro fine for organizing the 9N referendum, has appeared. Subsequently, the president of the Association of Municipalities for the Independence and Mayoress of Vilanova i la Geltrú, Neus Lloveras will also appear, to make an initial declaration.

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