Some former Spanish ministers might end up testifying before a Scottish court. This, if the deposed Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, asks to summon them to the hearing to decide on her extraditon, set for July 30 onwards. On Tuesday he stated that he and his team are considering summoning members of Mariano Rajoy’s ousted executive to court ahead of the judge’s decision, which won’t be taken before August.
In statements made to the Catalan News Agency (ACN), Anwar revealed that in the last few weeks they have been working to identify “experts in Spanish law, constitutional proceedings, abuse, and legal proceedings” in order for them to testify. According to him, this list “of very respectable individuals” might include ministers of the former Spanish government before it was stripped of power following a vote of no confidence.
Anwar said that the prosecutor is yet to decide which crimes in Scottish law might be equivalent to rebellion, the main crime in the European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Supreme Court.
Ponsatí’s extradition case has been ongoing since late March. On March 28, a Scottish judge released her on bail after she handed herself in to the police. Since then, she has appeared in two preliminary hearings, on May 15 and this Tuesday. Ponsatí already faced an extradition case last autumn in Belgium, but the Spanish Supreme Court withdrew its arrest warrant in December, only to reactivate it again in March.
‘Abuse’ of European arrest warrants
In an interview with the Catalan News Agency last month, Aamer Anwar, Ponsatí’s lawyer, claimed that the Spanish authorities are making “an abuse of the European arrest warrants” in trying to extradite Catalan officials abroad, and he accused the Spanish judiciary of “changing the rules of the game” to ensure the officials are returned to Spain. “The Spanish authorities keep shifting the goalposts. They can’t keep trying once, and then twice and then three and four times,” he said, calling such behavior “unacceptable.”
Upon the reactivation of her extradition case, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for her defence. In a week, she had already gathered 230,000 pounds, and as of June 12, the amount is up to 275,000 pounds with 11 days to go for the campaign to finish.