July 19, 2018 / 2:39 PM / 2 months ago

Former Catalan minister Ponsati's lawyer welcomes Spanish ruling but remains wary

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Catalan minister Clara Ponsati’s lawyer welcomed a Spanish court’s decision to withdraw European Arrest Warrants against Catalan politicians, but said it was unclear whether they would be allowed back.

Catalunya's former Education Minister Clara Ponsati attends a fringe meeting at the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Spain’s Supreme Court said on Thursday it had withdrawn European Arrest Warrants for politicians linked to the organisation of a Catalan independence referendum last October.

It also said it had decided to decline the extradition of former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont from Germany on the charge of misuse of public funds linked to the referendum.

Former education minister Ponsati, 61, a professor at Scotland’s University of St Andrews, is one of several leaders of Catalonia’s regional government being sought by Spain.

“It’s excellent news, with regards to my client Clara Ponsati, and obviously for Puigdemont... but we tread cautiously,” Aamer Anwar told Reuters by phone.

“The question that arises is whether the Spanish government are willing to allow Mr Puigdemont to simply return back to Catalonia and declare independence... I suspect not.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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