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Irony Alert: Scotland Wants to Shield Legally Catalan Expat Wanted By Spain For Seeking Independence BUT EU Arrest Warrant is Mode of Extradition!

The National, Scotland’s leading pro-independence newspaper, which I recommend for your reading pleasure (although they are anti-Tory and UKIP) has this report on Spain’s attempt to extradite academic Clara Ponsati to stand trial for crimes involving the attempt of the Catalan government to seek peaceful independence:

THE sneering response last week of the UK’s Unionist parties to the plight of the Catalan academic Clara Ponsati was instructive. The 61-year-old, a professor of economics at St Andrews University, is wanted by the Spanish regime for organising a violent rebellion and misappropriating public funds when she agreed to help her native Catalonia establish an independent government.

The European Arrest Warrant issued by Madrid has been met by fierce resistance in Ponsati’s adopted country of Scotland. A crowd-funding campaign to help with her legal fees reached almost £230,000 in a matter of days, and the Spanish Government faces months of resistance in Scottish courts before it can drag her back to its capital to face its own version of criminal justice.

Remember the Scotland legal system is still part of the UK legal system and that legal system is still bound to EU law – including the European Arrest Warrant.

Legal sources connected to the case, both in Scotland and in Spain, have indicated that Madrid has been caught off guard by the wave of support here for Professor Ponsati. It seems that the Spanish Government simply assumed that the European Arrest Warrant would be waved through unopposed in an English court and with the full approval of the Westminster Government.

But Prof. Ponsati is represented by a leading human rights lawyer, who is assembling his legal team who will probably try Spain in the courts for human rights violations in denying Catalonia a legal path to self-determination (which should be the US position!):

Ponsati is being represented by Aamer Anwar, one of the UK’s top human rights lawyers, who is in the process of assembling a crack legal team in Scotland, London, Barcelona and Madrid. Last week he told me: “I suspect Spain was unaware of the difference in legal systems and political approach that would be adopted in Scotland and believed they could rely upon the unconditional support of the Westminster Government.

Mr. Anwar, I’d give up running against Chris Peace in the primary for delegate (which I am not doing at this time) to be on your legal team!  Just reach out to Tom White at this blog!  It is right for every people group to have self-determination.

But the irony is that Scotland, as a member of the European Union, might have to turn Clara Ponsati to Spain for a show trial.  But a truly independent Scotland, not an EU member, would make its own legal and political decisions.

 

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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