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Anna Gabriel, former CUP MP, returned to Spain after more than four years of exile in Switzerland. According to a letter from the Spanish Supreme Court, she appeared voluntarily before it in order to make herself available to the high court and regularize her procedural situation, having left the country due to her involvement in the pro-independence process. After her appearance, investigating judge Pablo Llarena decided to summon her for questioning on a forthcoming date together with the participation of the other parties involved in the process. Once the official summons was issued, she was released, and she returned to Switzerland.

Gabriel, who was an MP for the anti-capitalist party, was prosecuted in March 2018 in connection with the criminal proceedings before the Supreme Court for her possible involvement in the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia, and was charged for failing to appear before the court on July 9th 2018. The former CUP MP was investigated for the crime of disobedience, but no European or international arrest warrant was issued against her, as the offence does not entail a prison sentence but a fine of up to twelve months and a two-year ban on holding public office. However, a national arrest warrant had been issued for her to be brought before the Supreme Court so that a statement could be taken from her, given the legal impossibility of continuing the proceedings against her without having made a prior statement for questioning.

In a press release, the former MP's support group explained that her appearance comes after several enquiries and clarifications in recent months about her current procedural situation. "After four and a half years in exile, today marks a necessary procedural step towards recovering the freedom of movement that neither I nor anyone else should have lost" said Gabriel, who explained that her decision comes after taking into account a "series of considerations, reflections and analyses regarding both the general political and judicial context, as well as some personal circumstances".

For the time being, she will not return to Catalonia. Gabriel explained that due to various professional and personal responsibilities, for the time being she will continue to live and work in Geneva, the place where she has lived in recent years. "There will be time to talk about everything calmly, to make a political assessment, both collectively and individually", added the former CUP leader, who stated that her "political and social" commitments remain with the people, her people, and especially with the group of people who have been repressed.

The former MP is currently the general secretary of the UNIA trade union in Geneva, the largest union in the Swiss confederation with over 200,000 members. She was elected last November, becoming the first woman to head this trade union organization.

Llarena's decree

Llarena decreed her provisional freedom, which renders "null and void the arrest and surrender order and the charge for failing to appear before the court", and ordered Gabriel to provide an address and telephone number where she can be located immediately, and to appear before the judicial body every time she is summoned. In addition, as usual, she was warned that failure to comply with these obligations could affect her personal situation.