CLARA Ponsati, the St Andrews academic and former education minister in Catalonia, who is living in Scotland, has been accused of rebellion and embezzlement for her part in the Catalan independence referendum last October, according to papers released by Spain’s Supreme Court.

The Madrid court said in a statement that it had completed its investigation into 18 former leaders and pro-independence figures, and court proceedings could now begin.

Prosecutors now have five working days to draw up indictments and the trials are expected to start in January.

Nine pro-independence figures have been in so-called “preventative detention”, some for more than a year, awaiting trial.

The court said the nine – including former vice president Oriol Junqueras – should be tried for rebellion, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment.

Court papers said Ponsati “took control of and occupation of all the dependent school centres … to guarantee their use in the referendum”.

However she – along with former president Carles Puigdemont and other ex-ministers who are in self-imposed exile – will not face trial as Spain does not allow such proceedings in absentia.