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Catalan president confident exiled minister Ponsatí will not be extradited

Quim Torra praises Scottish people for its "solidarity and generosity" with the former Catalan education chief, who has an extradition case pending

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11 July 2018 03:35 PM

by

ACN | Edinburgh

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, expressed confidence that former Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí will not be extradited talking to the press after a meeting with her on Wednesday.

She is in Edinburgh and is facing an extradition request by the Spanish authorities in Scottish courts.

Hearings to decide on her case will be held starting on July 30 and all the way through August.

Torra said that judges in Scotland will not execute the European arrest warrant against her and that "this will put Spain before its own mirror."

"The one with a problem is the Spanish judiciary," he said, adding that this is because it persecutes politicians "for allowing a vote."

  • "You will come back home, jailed leaders will be freed and so will our people; this is our wish and this is the aim we're working towards every day"

    Quim Torra · Catalan president

"We want you home, and we will not give up until you are home, you will come back home, jailed leaders will be freed and so will our people; this is our wish and this is the aim we're working towards every day," he said after meeting Ponsatí and her lawyer, Aamer Anwar.

"I am strong," says Ponsatí

"I keep calm, I am strong, these are serious allegations, and if they are successful I will spend time in jail, otherwise in exile - which is also serious. I don't want to cry, only fight," Ponsatí said to the press.

In Spain, she is being prosecuted for rebellion and misuse of funds, crimes which might carry up to 30 years in jail.

The Scottish prosecutor will ask for the execution of the European Arrest Warrant against her.

The Crown Office will argue that the crime of rebellion for which Ponsatí is wanted in Spain is equivalent to "conspiracy to alter the constitution by criminal means" and "treason" in Scotland.

Yet Ponsatí maintains her innocence. Her defense team has said it is committed to "defending her from extradition to Spain."

Torra to meet Sturgeon

On Wednesday evening President Torra will meet the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It will be the first time in a decade that the heads of both governments sit at a table.

After meeting Ponsatí, Torra thanked the Scottish people for its "solidarity and generosity."

"They are taking care of Clara and by taking care of her, they do it with Catalonia, and we will not forget this gesture by the Scottish people."

Crowdfunding campaign

When her extradition case started in Scotland, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for her defense. In a week, she had already gathered 230,000 pounds.

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  • Quim Torra and Clara Ponsatí meet in Ediburgh on July 11 2018 (by Laura Pous)

  • Quim Torra and Clara Ponsatí meet in Ediburgh on July 11 2018 (by Laura Pous)