Exiled former Catalan minister faces extradition hearing in Scotland
Thursday sees Clara Ponsatí return to court despite being on verge of becoming MEP due to Brexit on January 31
Former Catalan minister, Clara Ponsatí, who is in exile in Scotland, faces another hearing in a Scottish court on Thursday as part of Spain's attempts to extradite her to answer charges relating to the independence bid in Catalonia in 2017.
Yet, Ponsatí's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, thinks it "unlikely" that the court will suspend the warrant the Spanish judiciary issued for her arrest, even though she is due to become an MEP when the UK leaves the EU on January 31, and five of its seats pass to Spain.
Ponsatí's extradition hearing is the first for an exiled former Catalan minister since earlier this month the European Parliament recognized the immunity of Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín as MEPs, and they were allowed to take their seats in the EU chamber.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, Anwar said his client's status as a prospective MEP would come up in the hearing, along with the competence of the warrant, the issue of dual criminality, and the "abuse of Clara’s human rights if she were to be extradited to Spain."
The statement also accused Spain of acting as a ‘rogue state’ in "using its unlimited resources to abuse the rule of law," thanked Scotland on behalf of Ponsatí for its "warm embrace," and said the former minister "is determined to fight to the end to win."