Scotland formally notifies Ponsatí of extradition order withdrawal
Former minister's hearing was set to begin on July 30
The Scottish justice system has formally notified Cara Ponsatí of Spain’s withdrawal of the European arrest warrant hanging over her head. This is what her lawyer Aamer Anwar announced on Monday morning upon leaving court in Edinburgh, where the deposed minister had appeared waiting for the Spanish court’s decision to be made official.
Pablo Llarena, the Spanish Supreme Court overseeing the independence case, decided to drop the arrest warrants against all pro-independence leaders last Thursday. The hearing on Ponsatí’s extradition was due to begin on July 30.
Now the arrest warrant has been withdrawn, and precautionary measures also dropped, the deposed minister is able to travel freely throughout Europe, as long as she does not set foot in Spain. If she does so, she will be detained, accused of the crime of rebellion and misuse of funds for her role in last year’s Catalan independence referendum.
Acting on behalf of Spain, the Scottish prosecutor’s office was planning to accuse Ponsatí of “conspiracy to alter the constitution with criminal means” and “treason” in order to carry out her extradition. These are the crimes that Scotland’s Crown Office considers to be comparable to the crime of rebellion in Spanish law.
Ponsatí left Catalonia for Belgium last Autumn alongside former president Carles Puigdemont, and fomer ministers Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig. In early March this year, however, she moved to Scotland to continue working at the University of Saint Andrews, where she had previously been employed prior to becoming part of the Puigdemont government.