13th December 2019
Clara Ponsatí
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Clara Ponsatí to oppose extradition ‘robustly’, as ‘not a crime to vote for independence’

Clara Ponsatí, former Catalan education minister and now living and working in Scotland, has been released on bail and allowed to keep her passport after handing herself in to the police on Thursday, following an arrest warrant issued last week.

The current warrant is the third attempt to extradite the former minister for her role in the 2017 Catalan independence bid, after she left for Belgium with former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and other government members, before resuming her post as a professor at St Andrews University.

After handing herself in, Ponsatí was detained and transferred to Edinburgh Sheriff Court for a brief hearing on Thursday, where her legal team requested bail.

Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Clara Ponsatí in Scotland, previously said, ‘It is not a crime to vote for independence and the extradition will be opposed robustly’.

Outside the court on Thursday, Anwar said: ‘Sedition is a 16th century offence created by kings and queens to stop a backlash from ordinary people wanting their rights.’

Ponsatí’s next court appearance in the extradition case is scheduled for 12 December.

ALSO READ: Confusion over ‘disproportionate’ rectification in ‘shambolic’ arrest warrant

Spain’s Supreme Court has also issued new extradition requests against former Catalan officials Toni Comín and Lluís Puig, who are resident in Belgium.

Belgian authorities rejected the second extradition attempt against Comín, Puig, and also Meritxell Serret in 2018 for an error in the form. Spanish judge Pablo Llarena then withdrew the request against all exiled members of the Catalan government after the German justice system refused to extradite former president Carles Puigdemont for rebellion.

Clara Ponsatí
Clara Ponsatí, alongside her lawyer Aamer Anwar (middle) and the Catalan president Quim Torra. (Photo courtesy @AamerAnwar / Twitter)

ALSO READ: Spain warns Belgium it will ‘take decisions’ if Puigdemont not extradited

Following the verdicts in the Supreme Court trial and the sentences of up to 13 years for nine former Catalan leaders for sedition and misuse of public funds, warrants have since been reissued.

The Spanish prosecutor is now asking for Comín and Ponsatí’s extradition on charges of sedition and misuse of public funds, and Puig for misuse of public funds and disobedience. The request also includes warrants for their detention should they travel to non-EU countries.

ALSO READ: EU Commission answers questions regarding Josep Borrell tweet

Click here for all articles and updates on the Catalan Trial

 

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