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"Thank you Scotland." These were the words for the public from exiled Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí after being released on bail by a Scottish judge this Wednesday. As previously arranged, Ponsatí presented herself this morning to the police in Edinburgh, in relation to the European warrant issued by Spain for her arrest on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, related to the Catalan independence referendum last October. Later she appeared before a judge, who decreed bail, with the precautionary measure of the withdrawal of her passport. 

Ponsatí was received with cheers when she emerged from the court together with her lawyer Aamer Anwar, who conveyed that her client considered the charges to be a "grotesque distortion of the truth".

"She cannot believe that she is being held responsible for the violence on the day of the referendum", said Anwar. "The only people responsible were the Spanish police and the 6,000 members of the security forces who attacked people on behalf of the Spanish government."

The minister has been summonsed to appear again on 12th April in relation to the request for extradition to Spain. Her lawyer passed on Ponsatí's thanks for all the public support she has received so far. Conveying Ponsatí's words he said: "Scotland, you have been true friends to the people of Catalonia in their darkest hours."

Ponsati's lawyer Aamer Anwar, a human rights specialist and Rector of the University of Glasgow, has previously stated that she will defend herself "strongly against the charges that she faces which amount to political persecution and a systematic attempt to crush the desire for freedom of the Catalan people", and he stated that Ponsatí "is determined to fight".

 

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