Spain set to renew arrest warrant against Scotland-based Clara Ponsatí

Spain is expected to renew its international arrest warrant against ex-Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí, who sought refuge in Scotland.

The separatist former politician who is now an economics and finance professor at the University of St Andrews sought refuge in Scotland after being accused of violent rebellion in connection with Catalonia's independence referendum.

Professor Ponsatí was fighting extradition to Spain when she had her international arrest warrant formally withdrawn in July last year.

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Spanish prosecutors are now expected to re-activate their pursuit of the international arrest warrant which was issued against the 62-year-old former Councillor of Education.

demand a reactivation of the international arrest warrant that was issued against Clara Ponsat, 62, an economics and finance professor at the University of St Andrews. Picture: John Devlin

The Spanish daily newspaper ABC yesterday announced the news that prosecutors are expected to ask a Supreme Court judge, Pablo Llorena, to make Professor Ponsatí a fugitive from Spanish justice again “in the next few days”.

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According to the article, Spain’s public prosecution service would seek her extradition on charges of sedition and misappropriation of public funds for her role during the Catalan independence referendum in 2017.

Demonstrators outside the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh protest against the extradition to Spain of the former Catalan education minister in March 2018. Picture: PA

The final vote, which saw a major victory for the separatists, with 92 per cent of the vote, was widely boycotted by opponents and declared illegal by Spain.

A declaration of independence following the original independence was also deemed illegal.

Arrests, sentences and protests

In October, nine of 12 political and civil leaders who were tried this year in Madrid were given prison sentences by Spain’s supreme court for sedition and misuse of public funds, leading to a week of protests which turned violent in several Catalan cities, including Barcelona.

Another new European arrest warrant has been issued for Carles Puigdemont, the exiled former Catalan president, who sought exile in Belgium, however the authorities in Belgium have agreed to delay the case until the middle of next month at the request of his legal team.