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Josep Maria 'Jami' Matamala, one of the new senators for the province of Girona, will return to Catalonia next Tuesday, his daughter Neus has said. He has spent a year and a half in Belgium supporting his friend, exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Civil society organisation ANC is preparing to welcome him with pro-independence "starred" estelada flags and accompany him from the airport into the city, Diari de Girona reports.

Matamala, who followed Puigdemont when he first went into exile, was investigated by Spain's National Audience court as he was accompanying the president when he was arrested in Germany. He didn't respond to a summons to testify in court, so the case was filed. It was reopened in January, but for the moment he hasn't received any further summons; his lawyers offered he could testify by videolink, an offer the court hasn't responded to. He currently remains under investigation, but now enjoys the protection offered by his status as a senator.


"And now I can say... Next Tuesday, my dad Jami Matamala lands in Girona! And it's thanks to those of you who voted for him! So thank you, thank you, thank you [...] to everyone!," his daughter wrote on Twitter.

The ANC has called supporters to meet at Viena de Salt car park at 9:30am on Tuesday to then head to Girona airport to welcome him. They will then accompany him in a "caravan of cars with estelades" to the city.