Catalan fighting extradition from Scotland poses…

Clara Ponsatí a professor of economics has been charged with rebellion

Professor Ponsatí, 61, has said that she will hand herself over to the authorities in Scotland this week after the Spanish courts issued a European arrest warrant for her and other exiled Catalan leaders.

He was detained in Germany on Sunday on a European arrest warrant.

FORMER CATALAN MINISTER Clara Ponsati has formally been placed under arrest following her voluntary arrival at an Edinburgh police station, accompanied by her solicitor Aamer Anwar and members of her legal team.

An global arrest warrant for exiled former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsati, who recently arrived in Scotland, was reactivated by the Spanish state last weekend.

A rift between the Scottish and United Kingdom governments has opened up over the fate of a political fugitive from Catalonia who is facing extradition to Spain.

But she arrived in Scotland in March and has said she will fight any attempt to return her to Spain.

The Scottish government is concerned about Spain's use of a European Arrest Warrant against Ponsati and plans to raise the issue with the European Commission, justice minister Michael Matheson told the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

Ponsati, a former Catalan education minister who is now a professor at Scotland's University of St Andrews, is one of the Catalan leaders being sought by the Spanish courts for organizing a referendum on independence in October past year that was deemed illegal under Spanish law.

Speaking outside court, Prof Ponsati's lawyer Aamer Anwar said: "The 52-page warrant included the crimes of rebellion - punishable by up to 25 years in prison - as well as the crime of misappropriation of public funds, punishable with up to eight years' imprisonment".

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The academic denies the charges and is opposing her extradition to Spain, where the offences carry a maximum jail sentence of 33 years.

A Spanish judge last week issued worldwide and European arrest warrants for Ponsati and other separatist leaders, including former regional president Carles Puigdemont.

The Catalan regional administration has been under direct rule by Madrid and news of Puigdemont's arrest prompted demonstrations in Barcelona, which ended in clashes with the police. "Clara remains defiant, resolute and is determined to fight back".

He read a statement which also thanked Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon, herself a supporter of independence for Scotland from the United Kingdom, saying Scotland had been "a true friend to Catalonia in her darkest hours".

Ms Todner also said the request for extradition could be challenged if it was shown to be "not properly motivated".

"In the current circumstances, we believe there are legitimate arguments that Clara is being targeted for standing up for her political beliefs".

Clara Ponsati is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court tomorrow.

"One of the key things about the European Arrest Warrant system is that there is no evidence called in respect of the actual case".

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