SPAIN has launched a bid to bring a Catalan separatist leader back from Scotland to stand trial.
Former Catalan Education Minister Clara Ponsati faces a Supreme Court summons for her role in the illegal 2017 independence referendum.
Ponsati had fled to Scotland to flee Spanish justice and claim diplomatic immunity in the UK, becoming a professor at St Andrews University.
However the President of Spain’s top court, Carlos Lesmes, has now made a formal request for her extradition.
He called on the European Parliament President David Sassoli to revoke Ponsati’s immunity and bring her back to Spain to face charges.
The extradition will also strip Ponsati of her MEP status, a title that, according to Judge Pablo Llarena, she obtained to strengthen her immunity in the UK.
Ponsati’s Scottish lawyer, Aamer Anwar has already lodged contradicting papers, reminding the Spanish courts that she continues to have immunity until the end of the Brexit transitional period at the end of 2020.
He said: “Spain has repeatedly chosen to disobey a ruling by the highest court in Europe.
“It failed to release Junqueras and has abused the system of European Arrest Warrants.
“The fact that it is now desperate to remove Clara’s legal immunity as an MEP comes as little surprise.”
Ponsati is facing the same charges that 11 former Catalan MP’s have already been jailed for.
Among them are former deputy leader of Catalunya, Oriol Junqueras, for his role in the botched attempt to leave Spain three years ago.