FORMER Catalan minister Clara Ponsati has said she believes the Catalan people are changing the course of their history and that each act of repression by Spain brings a free Catalonia closer.

Her remarks came in a statement from her lawyer after she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on a European arrest warrant served when she handed herself in to police.

The 62-year-old is an economics professor at St Andrews University and was Catalan education minister at the time of the October 2017 independence referendum. She is wanted in Spain for her part in that.

Ponsati appeared in court yesterday, was granted bail and allowed to keep her passport. She is scheduled to return to court on December 12.

Aamer Anwar, her lawyer, said he arranged with Police Scotland her voluntary attendance at St Leonard’s police office yesterday morning, when she was formally placed under arrest and had the warrant served on her.

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Ponsati was then transferred to Edinburgh Sheriff Court and, after legal submissions, was released on bail.

Anwar said the full hearing was likely to take place in spring.

“Clara Ponsati faces a single charge of ‘sedition’ which relates to the organising of the referendum in her role as the Minister for Education,” said the lawyer. “The warrant is full of contradictions and mistakes, whilst it accuses Clara of everything, in reality the warrant provides no real examples of any alleged crime.

“This warrant comes as no surprise, because when the Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan leaders to 100 years between them, it wrongly accused Employment Minister Dolors Bassa of the decisions taken by Clara in her role as Education Minister.

“Clara submits that she should not be extradited for a ‘show trial’ in the Supreme Court, where she believes the only verdict would be one of guilty.”

He said she viewed the charges as “politically motivated” and his team would submit that her human rights cannot be guaranteed in the Spanish courts.

The warrant was signed by Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena charging Ponsati with sedition. Anwar said: “Sedition is the archaic offence invented in the 16th-century courts of Europe, by kings and queens who feared a backlash from people demanding their freedom. The Crown declared that any actions that question the state cannot be tolerated.

“Sadly for Spain, in Scotland like most democracies, the crime of sedition no longer exists.

“If there is anyone who should be put on trial then it is the Spanish state for unleashing an orgy of violence on the Catalan people, for its assaults on the right to vote, the right to protest and on the fundamental human right to self-determination.”

The lawyer said Spanish authorities had repeatedly abused the European arrest warrant process, and added: “We are instructed by Clara to robustly defend her from what she describes as ‘judicially motivated revenge’.” He said his client wanted to give notice to all those Spanish politicians “who have abused the rule of law” that they will be exposed to scrutiny in her defence.

“Clara trusts that her fate now lies in the hands of the Scottish justice system which she believes to be impartial, robust and independent.

“President [Pedro] Sanchez recently exposed himself to accusations of interference in the extradition process, whilst the leader of the far-right Vox party believes Scotland should face consequences if Clara is not extradited.

“Our legal system will not be swayed by such interference or threats and will come to a decision based on the law.

“Clara believes that the Catalan people are changing the course of their history and that each act of repression by Spain brings the day that Catalonia is free, closer.”