AN extradition hearing has been told that MEP and St Andrews academic Professor Clara Ponsati is now permanently residing in Belgium and is no longer within the jurisdiction of Scottish courts.

The former Catalan education minister today appeared via video link from Belgium at an extradition hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, which heard there was some confusion over a European arrest warrant (EAW) issued by Spain.

Ponsati is wanted there for her part in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, along with former president Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comin, another ex-minister.

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All three are MEPs, and Ponsati’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, told the court that in March the European Parliament agreed to lift the trio’s immunity and, on the same day, Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena – who is yet to win an extradition case related to the indyref – issued an order for a referral to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Anwar said: “We know that the Belgian and Scottish authorities have not been informed of any referral sent by Llarena to the ECJ .

“Any referral sent to the ECJ by Judge Llarena should suspend the legal procedure for EAW process for President Puigdemont, Toni Comin and Professor Ponsati.”

He said the use of a EAW was an abuse of process, as the true reason for the warrant was the “politically motivated prosecution” of his client.

“The Lord Advocate had previously argued that the equivalent crime to sedition with which Clara is charged, in Scotland would be the crime of treason,” said Anwar.

“We maintain you cannot simply look at laws dating back to the 14th century and transpose them into modern society.”

He said Llarena appeared to be generating confusion again, trying to proceed with a referral to the ECJ and maintaining the EAW.

READ MORE: Catalan MEPs lose immunity after secret European Parliament vote

“In essence he is trying to ride two horses at the same time. We are advised by the lawyers in Belgium that an action of annulment against the European Parliament decision to lift the MEPs’ immunity will be presented in the next few weeks.

“There is no point in fixing a hearing for extradition, because the ECJ is still to decide whether the European Parliament acted unlawfully in removing immunity from all three MEPs.”

The case was adjourned until August 26.