'A long road ahead': Clara Ponsati released on bail

Clara Ponsatí a professor of economics has been charged with rebellion

Ponsati was later freed on bail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, leaving to cheers from a throng of supporters outside waving the "estelada" Catalan independence flag.

A preliminary hearing was set for April 12 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Mr Puigdemont fled Spain to avoid arrest five months ago after the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence.

"Clara remains defiant and resolute and believes that the Spanish government will never be able to crush the spirit of the Catalan people", Anwar said.

"She is now attending a police station in Scotland and has said the outpouring of supportive messages and contributions has been truly inspirational to her and given her the drive, determination and spirit to take on this fight".

As Ponsati handed herself in at a Scottish police station to face charges which also include one of misuse of public funds over the banned independence vote, her lawyer said Ponsati believed she would not get a fair trial in Spain.

"Clara views these charges as 'political persecution" and submits that her human rights and justice can not be guaranteed in the Spanish Courts.

Anwar continued: "Clara wishes for me to state that these charges are a politically motivated, and a grotesque distortion of the truth".

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Addressing the assembled media, Ponsati's solicitor, noted human rights campaigner Aaemer Anwar, said: "Clara instructed us to oppose the extradition warrant received from the Spanish Supreme Court, and to robustly deny the charge".

An online campaign to raise funds for Ponsati's extradition battle was launched earlier on Wednesday, and within three hours had raised more than $127,000 (£90,000 or 102,000 euros).

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her government would cooperate with Madrid, but added it supported the right of the Catalan people to determine their future.

He told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the Spanish arrest warrant for Puigdemont was imprecise and superficial and it was unclear whether it was a European or worldwide warrant. "The fact that our justice system is legally obliged to follow due process in the determination of extradition requests does not change those views".

It is expected police will place her under arrest and formally serve the European Arrest Warrant on her. The detentions formed part of an investigation into a crime of concealment, police said on Twitter.

The Catalan regional administration has been under direct rule by Madrid and news of Puigdemont's arrest prompted demonstrations in Barcelona, which ended in clashes with the police.

The Catalan parliament passed a symbolic motion on Wednesday affirming the right of Puigdemont to be re-elected to his old job.

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