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Authorities in the United Kingdom have today responded to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by Spanish judge Pablo Llarena for former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsatí. Finding the warrant to be "disproportionate", they say they will take "no further action [...] at this time" in a document sent to Spain's interior ministry and seen by El Nacional. Ponsatí's lawyer Aamer Anwar said earlier this morning in a blog post that her court appearance had been delayed. She had planned to hand herself in to authorities tomorrow, "provisionally it is expected [this will now happen] on Thursday 14th November at 11am".

The document, sent between SIRENE (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry) offices, says: "The EAW [...] has been reviewed by a specialist UK lawyer on behalf of the National Crime Agency. They have determined that it is disproportionate under UK law."

The communication was received at 8:20am local time by Spain's SIRENE office, part of the Schengen Information System, a scheme to ensure police co-operation and legal mutual assistance between member states. It states that the "EAW has not been certified by the UK SIRENE Bureau and no further action will be taken by the UK regarding this matter at this time".

They do say, however, that if Spain holds "any information concerning [Ponsatí]'s previous offending history, or any other information relating to the seriousness of the offence", they can provide it, after which the UK "will re-evaluate our decision not to certify this EAW".

Hearing delayed

In Anwar's blog, he says that, having received a version translated into English, "clarity is now being sought by the UK authorities on the warrant from Spain", for which reason the scheduled hearing in Edinburgh on the case is delayed. The lawyer says the "rambling" warrant appears to contain "glaring contradictions" and that his client is "only briefly mentioned on two pages".

He adds that the "shambolic 'arrogant' attempts at extradition by Spain should be a source of deep embarrassment to them." Similarly, he questions Pedro Sánchez's "hard-line" statements, which make "a total mockery of the Spanish state's claim to have 'separation of powers'".

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