May 11 date set for full extradition hearing of former Catalan minister exiled in Scotland
Clara Ponsatí will become an MEP following Brexit on January 31
The full extradition hearing of former Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí will begin on May 11 in Edinburgh, Scottish courts ruled today, with a preliminary hearing fixed for March 5.
In a statement on behalf of Ponsatí, her lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said there were a number of issues raised in court today, two of which are related to the UK’s departure from the EU on January 31.
First, he raised the issue of the post-Brexit status of the European Arrest Warrant that Spain has issued for Ponsatí.
Second, Ponsatí is due to become an MEP when the UK leaves the EU and five of its seats pass to Spain. “Therefore she will have immunity,” Anwar said.
Anwar also accused Spain of misusing state power and said that it was seeking “the extradition of Clara for political purposes rather than the prosecution of crime.”
Ahead of the trial Ponsatí’s lawyer had thought it “unlikely" that the court would suspend the warrant the Spanish judiciary issued for her arrest.
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.