Updated: 28/03/18 : 14:40:51
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World :: Former Catalan minister surrenders to Scottish police

A former Catalan minister facing extradition to Spain has handed herself in to police in Scotland.

Clara Ponsati was made the subject of a European arrest warrant last week and gave herself up at a police station in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

She will appear at an initial extradition hearing later today before a full hearing in several weeks' time.

The former education minister is sought by Madrid on charges of "violent rebellion and misappropriation of public funds" regarding her role in Catalonia's October independence referendum.

Ms Ponsati, who denies the charges, fled Spain with the autonomous community's ex-leader Carles Puigdemont and three other cabinet members and initially headed for Belgium.

But she arrived in Scotland in March and has said she will fight any attempt to return her to Spain.

Ms Ponsati's solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "Clara remains defiant, resolute and is determined to fight back.

"She wants to thank the many hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, especially in Scotland, who have shown her such love and support.

"However, it is absolutely right that the independence of the judiciary in Scotland is respected and that no Government should ever interfere in that process.

"Clara accepts her fate now lies in the hands of the Scottish justice system."

More than £100,000 (€114,000) was raised through crowdfunding to help pay for Ms Ponsati's extradition defence on Wednesday morning.

On Monday, there were protests outside the Spanish consulate in Edinburgh to demonstrate support for Ms Ponsati.