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A Barcelona court has ended all proceedings against a key figure for the left-wing, pro-independence CUP party, Anna Gabriel, bringing to a close a case that took her into exile in Switzerland in 2018, and led her to be prosecuted for disobedience. The Barcelona Audience provincial court decided to definitively shelve the case because the public prosecutor asked for this action after finding that the facts of the case did not constitute a crime, while the other private prosecution carried out by Vox failed to respond within the time required. Thus, the court has agreed to the free dismissal of the case and its definitive shelving. On January 18th, 2023, the Supreme Court sent Gabriel to trial for disobedience, but transferred the case to the Barcelona Audience, given that she was no longer an MP and therefore did not have to be tried in the high court.


The former deputy for the Popular Unity Candidature (CUP) returned after more than four years in exile in Switzerland on July 19th, 2022 and appeared before investigating judge Pablo Llarena, who released her. According to a text from the Supreme Court, she appeared voluntarily in order to make herself available to the high court and to regularize her procedural situation, after leaving Spanish territory as a result of her involvement in the pro-independence process. After her appearance, judge Llarena summoned her to be questioned later, and she was provisionally released, returning to Switzerland. Gabriel then appeared before the Supreme Court again in September 2022 at which point she denied committing a crime of disobedience for her alleged involvement in the Catalan independence process of 2017, when she was parliamentary leader of the CUP. 

Alleged crime of disobedience

In September 2022, Anna Gabriel testified for just under half an hour in front of judge Llarena, the public prosecutor, the state solicitor and the private prosecution carried out by Vox. The CUP leader refused to answer the questions of the state legal services or those of the far-right party. Asked if in 2017 she had received any instruction from the Constitutional Court warning her that she could not promote a parliamentary initiative that would lead to the independence of Catalonia, Gabriel said no, that she had not received any such notice, and thus did not commit the crime of disobedience attributed to her.

Thus, after a long judicial journey, Anna Gabriel has been left free of charges in the same way as her former party colleague Mireia Boya, who was acquitted by the Catalan High Court in October 2020, after being tried alongside the pro-independence members of the Parliamentary Bureau headed by Carme Forcadell. Boya had not received a notice for the Constitutional Court either.

"Bittersweet feeling"

Anna Gabriel's reaction to this Friday's court decision was not long in coming. Through a post on the CUP's X account she celebrated that "after 6 long years" her case has been closed; however, she stated that she had a "bittersweet feeling". The former leading member of the CUP noted that "repression and political persecution are still very much alive against many people in Catalonia". She referred to the "thousands of people who have suffered retaliation, the CDRs, and those prosecuted for the Democratic Tsunami... unfortunately nothing ends today". To conclude, Gabriel urged everyone to "continue defending our rights".