Ex-Catalan minister to hand herself in to police on Wednesday

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Clara Ponsatí, a former education minister in the Catalan regional government, lives and works in St Andrews but faces arrest, a court appearance and extradition to Spain for her part in the failed attempt to secure independence for the region a year ago.

Prof Ponsati attended St Leonard's Police Station in the south of the city this morning where she was formally arrested.

"Clara views these charges as "political persecution" and submits that her human rights and justice can not be guaranteed in the Spanish Courts".

Clara Ponsati, the ex-Catalan education minister, is expected to attend a police station in Edinburgh following a European arrest warrant being issued.

Ms Ponsati, who denies the charges, fled Spain with the autonomous community's ex-leader Carles Puigdemont and three other cabinet members and initially headed for Belgium.

Referring to solidarity efforts now taking place at St Andrews University, where Ponsati has pursued her academic career, Anwar said: "She is truly humbled by the unconditional support from students, colleagues and the principal at St Andrews University".

Ponsati will arrive at a hearing for her extradition at 2pm at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where her legal team will apply for her to be bailed before the hearing is adjourned.

"Clara wishes to thank Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Government and politicians for their solidarity".

"She can not believe that she is being held responsible for the violence that took place on the day of the referendum". A preliminary hearing at the same court was then fixed for April 12. A crowdfunding page set up to pay her legal costs has already raised 165,000 pounds ($232,600).

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Professor Sally Mapstone, the Principal and Vice Chancellor of St Andrews University, said staff there were "deeply concerned" by what was happening.

"Obviously, as part of the European Union we are supposed to believe that all requests are fair and proper", she said.

Puigdemont was arrested by German police on Sunday.

About 90 people were slightly injured during the protests, including 22 police officers.

Parties' spokesmen signal their position ahead of the vote during a plenary session of the Catalonia's regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, March 28, 2018.

The Catalan parliament passed a symbolic motion on Wednesday affirming the right of Puigdemont to be re-elected to his old job.

"I have very real concerns that the current pre-trial imprisonment and pursuit of recently elected politicians, preventing them from participating in the formation of a new government goes against the principle of, democracy, of respect for human rights and risks people's basic civil liberties".

Puigdemont, detained by German police at the border with Denmark, is now awaiting his extradition trial.

Ms Todner said the extradition decision was purely for the Scottish courts to decide and there could not be any interference from the Scottish government.

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