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Legal council Separatist from Catalonia seeks Swiss advice

Anna Gabriel, gestures during her speech at Parliament in Barcelona, Spain in October 2017.

Gabriel was among the Catalonian politicians who organised an independence referendum for the region last October. 

(Keystone)

Anna Gabriel, a leading figure in the Catalonian separatist movement, is reportedly preparing her legal case with a Swiss lawyer specialising in international law.

Gabriel currently resides in the Swiss city of Geneva, according to a report in the the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, and has to appear in court in Spain later this week.

She is among the Catalan politicians who were called to appear in the Supreme Court in Madrid this Wednesday to give evidence. She and other members of the former left-wing alliance, Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP), could face criminal charges of sedition and rebellion after organising an independence referendum for Catalonia in violation of the Spanish constitution last October.

Gabriel’s lawyer Olivier Peter confirmed his client is currently in Geneva but declined to comment further on the case.

Gabriel could apply for asylum in Switzerland. Alternatively, Spain could request her extradition as part of the Schengen agreement with Switzerland. Peter is an expert in both political asylum and extradition cases. He previously represented the Basque Nekane Txapartegi and achieved her release from a Zurich prison last year.

According to the Tages-Anzeiger, Gabriel did not say whether she will return to Spain for the trial on Wednesday and announced that she would give a statement to that effect on Tuesday.

swissinfo.ch/ln

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