Noelia Carceller, Barcelona, 19 July 2022
The former CUP MP has been handed over to the Supreme Court to regularise her situation
The former CUP MP, Anna Gabriel, has returned to Spain by surprise and appeared voluntarily this Tuesday before the Supreme Court (TS). Thus, she has made herself available to regularise her situation after more than four years on the run from justice.
The anti-system was dismissed on 28 October 2017, when Mariano Rajoy’s government applied article 155 of the Constitution in Catalonia. Later, in March 2018, she fled to Switzerland with Marta Rovira (ERC) after being prosecuted for her possible involvement in the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (DUI). In July of the same year she was declared in absentia.
She will testify soon
The anti-system activist attended the court accompanied by her new lawyer, Íñigo Iruin (legal and political representative of the nationalist left), but refused to make any statements to the media. After appearing, the magistrate Pablo Llarena -instructor of the case of the ‘procès’- has released her and she will be summoned to testify soon for disobedience.
Anna Gabriel was investigated for this offence. However, there was no European arrest warrant for her. She is being prosecuted for a misdemeanour that does not carry a prison sentence, but a fine of up to 12 months and disqualification from public employment or office.
Judge Llarena’s order
The magistrate’s order indicates that “considering that the arrest warrant for the defendant was issued due to her failure to appear before the court for the purpose of receiving her statement, as well as the current state of the present case, and that the penalty foreseen for the crime of disobedience is a fine and disqualification from public office for up to two years, the defendant having been placed at the disposal of the Court for the continuation of the proceedings in accordance with the law, the declaration of default, as well as the search, detention and presentation ordered against her should be annulled”.
He adds that the “provisional release” implies the “designation of an address and telephone number where she can be located immediately” and the “appearance before this judicial body as many times as she is summoned”. Judge Llarena warns that “any failure to comply with the obligations imposed would entail the modification of her personal situation”.
Precedent of Mireia Boya
Without taking into account her flight from justice, the analogous case that affects Anna Gabriel is that of her former party colleague Mireia Boya. The Aranese politician was exonerated in October 2020 of any crime related to the symbolic declaration of independence that took place in Catalonia. The court of the Civil and Criminal Chamber decided that she should be acquitted of having committed a crime of disobedience “with all the favourable pronouncements, on the understanding that her status as a member of parliament and president of the CUP-CC did not give her the capacity to intervene in the initiative required by the criminal offence of disobedience”, as stated in the published sentence.
At the time, it was already noted that the Supreme Court’s decision opened the door to the exoneration of her colleague in that legislature, as both were in a similar situation. In other words, her party only limited itself to processing pro-proces initiatives, but as they were neither in the Government nor in the Bureau of the Parliament, they did not take any decision outside the law. Finally, Gabriel has taken two years to return to Spain.