The former Catalan minister and academic Clara Ponsati faces a ‘real threat to her life’ if she is extradited to Spain, her lawyer has claimed today.
Prof. Ponsati is currently fighting extradition to Spain on charges of rebellion, after being detained by police in Scotland on a European arrest warrant which was issued by Spain.
It comes after the contested referendum on independence in the Spanish region of Catalonia, which resulted in the detention of several political leaders in the Barcelona-based administration.
Some of the politicians, including Prof Ponsati and former Catalan President Carles Puidgemont, left the region in anticipation of being arrested by Spanish authorities.
She accused the regime in Madrid of human rights abuses and says that she is worried about their ‘relentless crusade to crush the Catalans’ will to be free.’
Her lawyer Aamer Anwar insists that Spain’s charges are not punishable under Scots law, and is also urging the court to reject the arrest warrant on Human Rights grounds.
He said: “Spain appears hell-bent on ripping up its image as a modern democracy and returning to its dark Francoist past.”
“We have concerns that if she was imprisoned in Madrid, Spain could not and would not guarantee Clara’s safety and she faces a real threat to her life whether it be from the authorities or fellow prisoners.”
Prof Ponsati, a director of the School of Economics and Finance at St Andrew’s University, is expected to appear as a guest on former First Minister Alex Salmond’s chat show on Russia Today.