A Scottish judge has officially dismissed the extradition case against former St Andrews Economics professor, Clara Ponsatí. The former Catalan Education Minister was wanted on “sedition” charges in Spain for her involvement in the unsanctioned Catalan Independence Referendum.
Scottish Judge, Nigel Ross, stated that the case is a “matter for Spanish authorities” since Professor Ponsatí has moved to Belgium with no indication that she has any intention of returning to Scotland.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court, it was determined that the case was “impractical” because “you can’t extradite someone who is not here”, stated Ross.
However, the Crown’s lawyers did state that there had been a “clear breach of the position of trust” as Professor Ponsatí seemingly did not tell the Court that she planned to leave her position at St Andrews and move to Belgium.
After 26 August’s hearing in Edinburgh, Professor Ponsatí’s solicitor, Aamer Anwar, released a statement, saying, “This morning we appeared at court on Clara’s behalf. The Court had already anticipated that Clara Ponsatí was no longer in Scotland’s jurisdiction and it was agreed that she should be discharged as a requested person and that these court proceedings for her extradition have finally been brought to an end.
“No rational argument has been presented by Spain which justifies the criminalisation of its citizens, who wish to peacefully argue for a different form of government or simply the right to self-determination, recognised in terms of the charter of the United Nations.
“In conclusion, Clara wishes to thank the many people in Scotland, as well as those across Europe, who have given her so much love, support and solidarity through difficult times and hopes that one day she can return from political exile to her beloved Catalonia.”