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The Catalan cultural NGO, Òmnium Cultural, has announced that Oleguer Serra Boixaderas, director and member of the board, has gone into exile in Switzerland, to defend himself against the terrorism accusation made against him in the Democratic Tsunami case, by National Audience judge Manuel García-Castellón. The Òmnium board of directors held an extraordinary meeting at its headquarters in Perpinyà, from where it made an institutional statement live this Thursday evening. Xavier Antich, president of the pro-independence organization, has announced that they "will intensify the international offensive to denounce the persecution of Catalan independentism by the National Audience, the Civil Guard and Spanish police", and recalled that in the last seven years there have been police and judicial reprisals against more than 4,500 people who took part in the independence process. At the media conference, Oleguer Serra assured: "With my accusation, they are accusing Òmnium". The lawyer Olivier Peter, defending Serra alongside Benet Salellas, stated that "criminal law has become a political weapon against the Catalan-speaking countries". In the institutional statement, the Òmnium president spoke forcefully: "In the face of more repression, [our response is] more language and more country. Òmnium will be an international reporting tool", and he detailed that Oleguer Serra will perform that role from Switzerland.

The decision to go into exile follows the announcement this Tuesday that judge García-Castellón has given the 12 people being investigated for terrorism in the Tsunami case until this Thursday to communicate, through their lawyers, the address where they live, so that he can summon them to testify in Madrid. The National Audience judge made public the names of the 12, last year on November 6th, thus reviving, as the Catalan amnesty law loomed, the investigation into the pro-independence protest platform that had lain dormant for many months. Of the 12 investigated, the Supreme Court agreed, last February, to take over the investigation of the Catalan president-in-exile and MEP, Carles Puigdemont, and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) deputy in the Catalan Parliament, Ruben Wagensberg, due to their partially-protected status as parliamentarians. Wagensberg, upon learning of his accusation in the case, also went to Switzerland, a country that is also the residence of ERC general secretary, Marta Rovira, also accused in the Tsunami case. Swiss authorities have already responded to judge García-Castellón that they will not cooperate with him over the case because it considers that Tsunami is a political case.

Oleguer Serra Omnium Cultural
Oleguer Serra, the Òmnium director who is going into exile

Those investigated in the case

The other people under investigation in the Tsunami case are businessmen Oriol Soler and Josep Campmajó; Girona resident Marta Molina; computer scientist Jaume Cabaní; the former Catalan government minister Xavier Vendrell (ERC), who lives between Catalonia and Colombia; Josep Lluís Alay, director of president Puigdemont's office, recently operated on for a brain hemorrhage; Nicola Flavio Giulio Foglia and La Directa journalist Jesús Rodríguez, whose current situation will be explained by the support group this Thursday, in an event supported by the Ramon Barnils journalists group. The judge has instructed the Civil Guard to find out where Cabaní, Rodríguez and Foglia live because they are not represented by a lawyer in the case.