SPAIN has withdrawn an international arrest warrant for former Catalan politician and St Andrews University academic Clara Ponsati who has been fighting extradition from the UK.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge has dropped his extradition requests for six Catalan pro-independence politicians wanted on rebellion charges.

Authorities in Madrid had been seeking Prof Ponsati on charges of violent rebellion and misappropriation of public funds over her role in Catalonia's independence referendum last year.

You can read our story by clicking here, and below is the full statement issued by Ponsati's solicitor, Aamer Anwar, on behalf of his client.



From the very beginning Clara Ponsati utterly refuted the charges she faced and Spain was accused of abusing the European Arrest Warrant for politically motivated prosecutions.

So today’s withdrawal of all the European Arrest Warrants by the Spanish Supreme Court is a tremendous victory for the Catalan politicians and people.

The warrant failed to ever specify a single act of violence or incitement attributable to Clara or her fellow ministers. Unsurprisingly there is no mention of the actions of several thousand Spanish police and 6000 State Security Forces accused of carrying out brutal unprovoked attacks on a civilian population at over 2000 polling stations.

In a civilised democracy Police Officers are the guardians of law and order, who protect the public they serve, yet the actions of the Spanish police on October 1st have been compared to the dark days of Francoism. We ask the Spanish judiciary and Judge Llarena why no warrants have been issued for a single Spanish police officer for their violent actions against a defenceless population.

To put the charge that Clara faced in context, just try to imagine if the First Minister of Scotland were to call a referendum and Theresa May sent in 15,000 police officers to attack voters and then imprisoned half the Scottish Government whilst issuing warrants for Nicola Sturgeon and others who fled to Europe, threatening them with over 30 years in prison for treason if convicted. Of course that scenario is an impossible nightmare but that is the situation Catalonia faces today.

Contrary to the arguments of the arrest warrant, the gathering of citizens constitutes an exercise of their right to freedom of association and cannot be compared with an act of violence. A true democracy guarantees the absolute freedom of expression for MPs and ministers in exercising their powers. They must be able to speak freely, independently and without fear of any form of prosecution or punishment.

We welcome the withdrawal of the European Arrest Warrants albeit that we still await official confirmation from Spain. But whilst this is a tremendous victory we also remind people that Political Prisoners still remain in custody in Spain. Clara and others have not had their national warrants withdrawn, thus making Clara a political exile which means if she were to return home she would be arrested. We also await to see the next step of the Spanish authorities as they could still reissue revised European Arrest Warrants although this would clearly be a further example of an abuse of the treaty.

If President Sanchez is truly different from the regime of Rajoy then the only solution is a political solution which must mean a guaranteed return of the political exiles and release of all political prisoners with no conditions attached. It is the sovereign right of the Catalan people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs and it can never be illegal under international law for a people to express their right to self-determination.

Clara would like me to thank the people of Scotland, the UK, her fellow Catalans and Europeans as well as the SNP, the Green Party, the STUC and Scottish Government for their tremendous support for her and the Catalan people. Their solidarity will never be forgotten.