Defiant Catalan academic Ponsati granted bail in fight to avoid Spanish extradition

Carles Puigdemont and former member of the Government of Catalonia Clara Ponsati attend a news conference in Brussels

Ponsati, a former Catalan education minister who is now a professor at Scotland's prestigious University of St Andrews, is fighting extradition because she believes she will not get a fair trial in Spain.

On Friday, the Spanish Supreme Court activated a European arrest warrant for a number of Catalan politicians, including Puigdemont and Ponsati.

Clara Ponsati was made the subject of a European arrest warrant last week and gave herself up at a police station in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

"Scotland has been a true friend to Catalonia in her darkest hours", said Anwar.

She denies the charges and is set to embark on a legal fight to resist the attempts to have her returned Spain.

Ponsati's lawyers had earlier said they will "robustly" reject charges of violent rebellion and misappropriation of public funds for helping to organise last year's independence referendum in Catalonia, which the government in Madrid deemed illegal.

Ms Ponsatí's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, maintains that the prosecution is "political" and will argue that the Spanish courts can not "guarantee independence, human rights or justice".

More than £100,000 was raised through crowdfunding to help pay for Ms Ponsati's extradition defence on Wednesday morning.

In a prepared statement delivered to press outside of the police station, Anwar said: "After we enter the police office my client will be formally placed under arrest".

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"She does not believe that the Spanish courts can guarantee independence, human rights or justice", Anwar added.

Mr Anwar said of Prof Ponsati: 'She is truly humbled by the support she has received from across Scotland as well as that of the Scottish Government, but believes that it is right that our courts must now decide what happens next'.

The professor at the University of St. Andrews returned to Scotland in March after fleeing Spain with Catalonia's ex-leader Carles Puigdemont.

Pro-independence parties used their slim majority to approve the motion and continue their defiance of the Spanish government, which says the wealthy northeastern region cannot secede and that no candidate facing legal troubles can become Catalan president.

Earlier, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government "supports the right of the people of Catalonia to determine their own future and that we strongly oppose the Spanish Government's decision to seek the arrest and imprisonment of independence supporting politicians".

It is unclear whether the German and Scottish courts will grant the extraditions on the grounds of rebellion.

She posted on social media she had resumed working at the University of St Andrews in Fife.

On Monday, a group of protesters congregated outside the Spanish consulate in Edinburgh to demonstrate against the arrest warrant and the actions of the Spanish Government.

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