The Latest: Ex-Catalan minister turns herself in in Scotland

The Latest: Ex-Catalan minister turns herself in in Scotland
The Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — The Latest on Catalonia’s political struggle with Spain (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A former Catalan minister facing extradition to Spain on charges of rebellion has turned herself in to authorities in Scotland.

Clara Ponsati, Catalonia’s former education chief, is preparing a “robust” legal challenge to the charges, stemming from her role in Catalonia’s unsuccessful effort to declare independence from Spain.

The professor at the University of St. Andrews returned to Scotland in March after fleeing Spain with Catalonia’s ex-leader Carles Puigdemont.

Ponsati’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, says the charges amount to political persecution and that her human rights “cannot be guaranteed” in Spain. He says “Clara remains defiant and resolute and believes that the Spanish government will never be able to crush the spirit of the Catalan people.”

The academic is due at an initial extradition hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wednesday.

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12:10 p.m.

Catalonia’s parliament has passed a symbolic motion affirming the right of the Spanish region’s former separatist leader Carles Puigdemont to be re-elected to his old job, even though he is in jail and facing a possible trial.

Pro-independence parties used their slim majority to approve the motion Wednesday and continue their defiance of the Spanish government, which says the wealthy northeastern region cannot secede.

Puigdemont fled Spain to avoid arrest five months ago after the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence. Spanish authorities ousted Puigdemont and imposed direct rule on the restive region.

The Spanish Supreme Court has charged the 55-year-old separatist leader with rebellion. He was detained in Germany on Sunday on a European arrest warrant. German authorities are due to decide on his extradition.

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