Extradition case against Catalan academic Clara Ponsati dropped

Lawyer says Spanish warrant means that economics professor remains an ‘exile’

July 25, 2018
Source: istock
Pro-independence Catalonian politician can continue her academic career in Scotland

The international arrest warrant for a Catalonian politician who teaches at the University of St Andrews has been withdrawn by Spain.

Clara Ponsati, professor in the School of Economics and Finance at St Andrews, briefly served as Catalonia’s education minister before fleeing overseas with former president Carles Puigdemont and others after the rejection of its declaration of independence from Spain. The Spanish government then began proceedings against her on the grounds of rebellion and misappropriation of public funds, and moves to extradite her from Scotland were under way after her arrest under a European warrant in March.

The European warrant has now been withdrawn, and proceedings against Professor Ponsati were dropped at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Afterwards, Professor Ponsati’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, rector of the University of Glasgow, said that the case had delivered “a humiliating defeat for the Spanish state which since 1 October has unleashed a wave of repression attacking the Catalan people”.

But he noted that while a national warrant was still out for Professor Ponsati, she “remains a political exile unable to return home for at least 20 years”.

matthew.reisz@timeshighereducation.com

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