On Wednesday Catalan president Quim Torra and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met in Edinburgh in what was the first high-level meeting between the two governments in nearly ten years. When Quim Torra arrived at the First Minister’s official residence in the afternoon, he was met by a group of pro-independence Catalans carrying separatist flags and holding banners in support of the political prisoners. The meeting between Torra and Sturgeon is the first one between the two governments since then-First Minister Alex Salmond travelled to Barcelona for a meeting with then Catalan vice president Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira.
Torra is on an official trip to Scotland to visit former Catalan Education Minister Clara Ponsatí, who is in the UK awaiting a court decision about the extradition request filed by Spain on treason charges.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Torra was adamant that no Scottish court will hand Ponsatí over to Madrid. He remarked that “we will win her extradition case and Spain’s justice system will have to take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror”. “We want you back at home and will persevere until then. You will come back home, the prisoners will be set free and so will our people. This is our wish and we are working on it every day”, said Torra. The Catalan president criticised Spain’s justice for persecuting Ponsatí “simply for having allowed Catalans to vote” and he pointed out that this could have never happened in the UK.
On the subject of the suspension of the Catalan MPs who are facing treason charges ordered by judge Pablo Llarena on Tuesday, the Catalan leader stated that he does not intend to ask any of the MPs involved to step down.