SPANISH authorities have issued a fresh European arrest warrant (EAW) for Professor Clara Ponsati, the St Andrews academic and former Catalan education minister who is exiled in Scotland.

It comes after Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena issued a warrant for ex-president Carles Puigdemont, in exile in Belgium, following the trial verdicts which saw pro-independence politicians and public figures jailed for a combined total of 100 years for their part in the 2017 Catalan indyref.

EAWs will also be issued for ex-ministers Toni Comin and Lluis Puig, who are also in Belgium, according to Europa Press.

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Under the EAWs, Ponsati and Comin would be charged with sedition and misuse of public funds, and former culture boss Puig with a similar charge and one of disobedience.

Scottish lawyer Aamer Anwar, who represents Ponsati, told The National he expected her warrant to become live on Monday.

The National: Carles Puigdemont is also wanted by Spain Carles Puigdemont is also wanted by Spain

He said: “We very much intend to put on trial the Spanish justice system as well as certain politicians who have as acted as executioners with their public statements against the prisoners.

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“The difference however on this occasion is that Clara is no longer charged with the crime of rebellion, but of sedition and the mismanagement of public funds ... Clara views these charges as ‘political persecution’ and submits that her human rights and justice cannot be guaranteed in the Spanish courts.”

He said Ponsati believed her extradition would be “unjust and oppressive” and they intended to use the “show trials” of Catalan leaders to show that Spanish courts cannot guarantee “independence, human rights or justice”.

“Clara remains defiant, resolute and is determined to fight back and wants to thank the many thousands of ordinary people especially in Scotland and Catalonia who have shown her such love and support over the last 16 months,” he said. “Since last year when the warrant was withdrawn, we had predicted that the Spanish would reissue a warrant following the sentencing of the Catalan political prisoners. Over the course of the last several months many have watched with deep concerns the ‘trial’ of the political prisoners, whilst we have prepared for this moment.”

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He said sedition was not an offence in Scotland, and said: “It is our attention to raise before our courts that the Spanish authorities in their eagerness to revenge themselves against the Catalan government are abusing the process of the European Arrest Warrant.”

Ponsati was “truly humbled” by support from St Andrews students, colleagues and the university principal, and “wants to put on record her thanks to the Scottish Government, trade unions and politicians from all parties”. He added: “Clara believes however that it is only right that the independence of the judiciary in Scotland is respected and no government should ever interfere in that process. Clara accepts that once again her fate will very soon lie in the hands of the Scottish justice system.”