SPAIN has withdrawn an international arrest warrant for former Catalan minister Clara Ponsati, who was fighting extradition from Scotland amid accusations of violent rebellion.

Ms Ponsati, an academic at the University of St Andrews, was being pursued by Spanish authorities over her role in last year’s controversial independence referendum.

Her lawyer Aamer Anwar hailed the climb-down a “tremendous victory”, but warned: “We have won the battle but we have not won the war.”

Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena dropped his extradition requests for six Catalan separatist politicians wanted on rebellion charges.

As well as Ms Ponsati, this included Carles Puigdemont – Catalonia's ex-regional president who fled to Belgium to avoid arrest before travelling to Germany.

It comes after a German court agreed to extradite Mr Puigdemont, but only over alleged misuse of public funds and not on the more serious charge of rebellion.

However, the six politicians could still face arrest if they return to Spain – and Mr Anwar warned fresh efforts to extradite Ms Ponsati may be launched in the future.

He said: “We welcome the withdrawal of the European Arrest Warrants albeit that we still await official confirmation from Spain.

“But whilst this is a tremendous victory we also remind people that political prisoners still remain in custody in Spain.

“Clara and others have not had their national warrants withdrawn, thus making Clara a political exile which means if she were to return home she would be arrested.”

He added: "It is the sovereign right of the Catalan people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs and it can never be illegal under international law for a people to express their right to self-determination."

Ms Ponsati was arrested by police in Scotland in March, and was facing charges of violent rebellion and misappropriation of public funds over her role in Catalonia's disputed poll.

She denied the allegations and was due to fight her extradition in the courts, amid fears she could die in prison if found guilty.

The academic is now expected to attend Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday for a hearing in the wake of the latest decision.

A crowdfunder set up to help fight her case had raised around £250,000. Mr Anwar said this would be redistributed to help other Catalan politicians facing prosecution if it was no longer needed.

Ms Ponsati tweeted: “Thank you all for your support. We shall overcome!”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed the Spanish judge’s decision as “very good news”.

She said: “Political differences should be pursued democratically not through criminal courts.

“Let’s hope she is now allowed to get on with her life – and being the credit to Scotland that she is.”

Campaigners also said they were "thrilled" by the move.

The Catalan Defence Committee Scotland said the charges “were baseless in the first instance”.

In a statement, it added: “Democracy is not a crime and Clara is not a criminal. Today is a victory for all who believe in democracy and the right to self-determination.

“Assurances must be given that Clara and other exiles can return to their home of Catalonia without fear of arrest or persecution and political prisoners must be released.

"Politicians and grassroots activists must be able to put their case forward without having their rights infringed."

A University of St Andrews spokeswoman said: "We are delighted for Clara, but will obviously monitor closely the further implications of the decision in Spain."

Earlier this month, Ms Ponsati dubbed the charges against her "surreal" and compared her situation to the brutal, 18th century world of hit TV show Outlander.