CLARA Ponsati has thanked the people of Scotland and Europe after a three-year bid by Spain to have her extradited finally ended at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The St Andrews academic and former Catalan government minister had been pursued by Spain since the 2017 independence referendum, along with former president Carles Puigdemont and another former minister Toni Comin.

Spanish authorities had used European arrest warrants to force them to return to Spain and has repeatedly sought to end their parliamentary immunity as MEPs.

However, when Ponsati’s lawyer Aamer Anwar appeared on her behalf in court today, it had already anticipated that she was no longer under Scotland’s jurisdiction.

The National:

Her case was discharged and the extradition process ended.

“On each and every occasion that Clara and the Catalan exiles have taken on the might of the Spanish state they have won, whilst Spain has failed to crush the spirit of the Catalan people,” said Anwar.

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“No rational argument has been presented by Spain which justifies the criminalisation of its citizens, who wish to peacefully argue for a different form of government or simply the right to self-determination, recognised in terms of Charter of the United Nations.

“Clara wishes to thank the many people in Scotland as well as those across Europe, who have given her so much love, support and solidarity through difficult times and hopes that one day she can return from political exile to her beloved Catalonia.”