Spanish court issues arrest warrant for Catalan separatist

Spanish court issues arrest warrant for Catalan separatist

A leading Catalan separatist has fled to Switzerland to avoid a court appearance in Spain, where she stands accused of rebellion over October's independence push.

"If I stay in Switzerland, I will try and go back into academia, to settle here and work", said the former professor of law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Judicial police have identified Rovira and Pascal as key players in the staging of a banned independence referendum and the declaration of secession Catalan lawmakers made based on its results.

The lawyers of right-wing party, Vox, which acts as a popular indictment, has requested national and global arrest warrants for independentist leader and state law, adheres to prosecution's request. Several other pro-independence MPs and public figures have been in prison for nearly four months for their part in the poll and sacked ministers - including former president Carles Puigdemont - are in self-imposed exile in Brussels.

Ms Gabriel told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps that she was being targeted for her political activity by authorities who "want to silence independence through repression" and had "already been condemned by the government press".

Peter said: "We are confident that the Swiss authorities do not legitimise the imprisonment ... for wanting to defend the right to vote". I'm not the only one who could go to jail.

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Gabriel is the sixth Catalan politician evading the judicial probe and trying to bring attention to the Catalan conflict by moving to a major European capital. Following the regional election in December, pro-independence parties continued to hold a narrow majority in the Catalan parliament, though attempts to reinstate Puigdemont as head while residing overseas have failed.

Gabriel denounced the situation in Catalonia, which has seen almost 900 people placed under investigation or indicted following the failed independence drive.

The CUP held the balance of power in Catalonia's parliament during that time, as ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's ruling coalition lacked a majority and relied on the smaller party's 10 seats to pass legislation and advance his independence "roadmap".

More than 700 mayors, around three-quarters of Catalonia's total, are facing prosecutors' complaints for disobedience.

She was due to appear before a Supreme Court judge on Wednesday over her role in Catalonia's failed independence drive, which eventually prompted Madrid to impose direct rule on the region in October, sack its government and dissolve its parliament.

Now lower officers in the Mossos face allegations of disobedience and inaction during the poll. "I would like to think this case will be shelved and I can return home", Gabriel told Catalan television in an interview from Geneva today.

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