CLARA Ponsati, the University of St Andrews professor and former Catalan education minister, is expected to appear in an Edinburgh court tomorrow after Spanish authorities issued a fresh European Arrest Warrant (EAW) over her role in the October 2017 independence referendum.

Spain’s Supreme Court yesterday issued the warrant alleging sedition, which carries a prison term of up to 15 years.

Aamer Anwar, her lawyer, said she “utterly refutes” the charge and the academic herself described it as a “political prosecution”.

Fresh EAWs were also issued for ex-Catalan ministers Toni Comin and Lluis Puig in Belgium, where they are in self-imposed exile – as is former president Carles Puigdemont.

They followed the sentencing of nine Catalan political prisoners to a total of 100 years’ imprisonment for their part in the referendum, which Spain deemed illegal. Protests erupted in Barcelona last month after the Supreme Court passed sentences of between nine and 13 years in prison.

READ MORE: New European Arrest Warrant issued for Catalan Clara Ponsatí

A previous warrant for Ponsati, 62, on charges of rebellion and misappropriation of public funds, was withdrawn in July last year after the German judiciary refused to extradite Puigdemont for rebellion – which does not exist in Germany.

She is expected to appear with Anwar at St Leonard’s Police Office in Edinburgh at 10.30am tomorrow , where she will be arrested and transferred to Edinburgh Sheriff Court for a hearing, where her legal team will apply for bail.

In a statement on her behalf, the lawyer said: “This warrant is viewed as a systematic attempt to criminalise the fight for independence by over two million Catalan voters.

“It will be argued by Clara’s legal team that there is no guarantee of a right to a fair trial in Spain, where most members of the Catalan Government are already in prison or in exile. Clara believes the charge to be part of "a political motivated prosecution" and submits her extradition would be unjust and incompatible with her human rights.

“The extradition will be opposed robustly and it is Clara’s intent to put on trial the Spanish justice system as well as its politicians who have interfered with due process.”

The National: Clara Ponsati will face the court Clara Ponsati will face the court

He added: “Clara is deeply grateful for the support from across Scotland, Europe and her beloved Catalonia.

“Once again she is taking on the might of the Spanish state and Clara is resolute and determined to fight and believes that Spain will never be able to crush the spirit of the Catalan people.”

Ponsati said she was not looking forward to the court appearance, but was ready for it, telling the BBC: “We’re prepared. We know that this is a political prosecution and that we will be defending my case against it very strongly.

“I feel a very intense feeling of outrage and injustice. A referendum is not a crime. A guilty verdict to the Catalan leaders is a guilty verdict to the Catalan people that went to the polls on the referendum day, so everybody will feel the verdict in their own soul. When you face a situation of clear injustice, civil disobedience becomes an obligation. At this point all I can do is just keep on the fight. It’s much greater than myself and I am just one small grain of sand.”

Catalonia’s indy movement has close links with its Scottish counterpart, and our own 2014 indyref is often held up as an example of what Catalans want. Ponsati was given a standing ovation at the SNP conference in Aberdeen last year.

She had been working as director of the School of Economics and Finance at St Andrews since January 2016, before being appointed the Catalan government’s education minister in July 2017. She returned to St Andrews last year, after fleeing Spain for Belgium with Puigdemont and other ex-ministers.

A police spokesperson said yesterday: “We can confirm we are in possession of a European Arrest Warrant for Clara Ponsati.

“We have now been in contact with her solicitor, who is making arrangements for her to hand herself in to police.”