Deposed minister hands herself in to Scottish Police
Campaign to finance her defence raises more than double target amount in a few hours
Deposed Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí has handed herself in to the Scottish Police on Wednesday in Edinburgh. She is to testify before court the same day in the afternoon. Ponsatí's move comes after the Spanish judiciary issued a European arrest warrant against her, as well as against all the Catalan officials abroad. The Spanish judiciary body requested their extradition to Spain, where they would be tried on their role in Catalonia’s push for independence.
Her lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said that the deposed Catalan minister will ask the court to be freed with precautionary measures. Speaking to the press, her lawyer claimed that Ponsatí is victim of "political persecution," and accused Spain of trying to end the independence movement. In addition, Anwar expressed the deposed Catalan minister's gratitude for the support of the Scottish people. "Scotland is a true friend of Catalonia in these dark times," he stressed.
Campaign to finance Ponsatí's defence
The deposed Catalan minister started a campaign in order to finance her defence before the Scottish judiciary. Through a crowdfunding platform, Ponsatí aimed to achieve an amount of €45,700. In a few hours, she achieved more than double that.
Catalan officials abroad
The European and international arrest warrants issued against the deposed president Carles Puigdemont and the Catalan officials abroad are to be processed in four different countries, each with their own variations in law.
"Scotland is a true friend of Catalonia in these dark times"
Aamer Anwar · Clara Ponsatí's lawyer
The dismissed members of the Catalan government include Toni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Meritxell Serret, and Lluís Puig. Alongside Puigdemont, they all sought refuge in Belgium after the parliament declared Catalonia as independent. On March 10, Ponsatí announced that she had moved to Scotland in order to go back to work at the University of Saint Andrews.
The secretary general of Esquerra Republicana, Marta Rovira, also left Catalonia last week, announcing that she would “go into exile.” She is thought to be in Switzerland. Puigdemont was detained in Germany whilst travelling back to Belgium from Finland.
The arrest warrants are therefore to be processed in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland. In an expected turn of events on Sunday, Puigdemont was locked up in Neumünster prison while it is decided whether to extradite him or not.