PROFESSOR CLARA PONSATI – EXTRADITION HEARING AT EDINBURGH SHERIFF COURT ON 5th March 2020
Statement on behalf of Clara Ponsati by her extradition lawyer Aamer Anwar
Professor Ponsati will attend on a voluntary basis at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 27 Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1LB at around 9.50am for a hearing on Thursday 5th March 2020, 10am (Local Time). Present in court will be her legal team Gordon Jackson QC, Clair Mitchell QC, and solicitor Aamer Anwar. Following which a full statement will be issued outside court.
“As predicted in January, Clara Ponsati became a MEP because of Brexit. Despite Spain’s desperate demands that she should not be free to leave the UK, Clara took her seat at Strasbourg alongside Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comin on the 10th February 2020.
We will submit at court that as Clara has legal immunity, she cannot be extradited. The Spanish Authorities have petitioned the European Parliament to waive the immunity held by Clara, Puigdemont and Comin. It is understood that it could be months before the matter is debated.
Spain should have withdrawn the warrant against Clara when she became immune, but by asking the European Parliament to remove her immunity, in essence they accept she has immunity. Once more Spain breaches the rule of law, its international obligations and misuses the European arrest warrant for political persecution.
We maintain the present warrant, lacks clarity and nothing said to have been done by Clara can be identified as a criminal offence; the offences identified in the EAW are not extradition offences. The Crown acting on behalf of Spain contends that the behaviour in the warrant, if carried out in Scotland, would amount to the crime of treason. We submit that that the actions of Clara cannot be classified as the crime of treason. The crime of sedition was abolished in 2011, because they are archaic offences. Abolition sent a powerful signal to states around the world that use such laws to imprison their critics and silence dissent and demands for freedom.
Spain’s sedition law is a construct of Franco’s fascism, which sees the state not as a democratic body designed to serve the people but a weapon to subdue them.
At court we will submit that if it is accepted that Clara has immunity then her extradition case cannot continue, or at the very least should be adjourned until the European Parliament has decided on the petition from Spain.
Despite Clara having immunity which allows her the freedom of movement, she is even more determined to fight Spain’s attempt to extradite her from Scotland, whilst using the European Parliament as a platform to fight for Catalonia’s independence.”
Contact Scotland’s top extradition lawyers