Protests in Spain as fugitive ex-Catalan president Carles Puigdemont detained in Germany

Carles Puigdemont had been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium. Credit: PA

Protesters are clashing with police in Spain following the arrest of ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont in Germany.

A lawyer for the 55-year-old said he was stopped by police with a European arrest warrant when he was crossing the border to enter Denmark.

The arrest has sparked mixed reactions in Spain, with protests taking place both in support of Mr Puigdemont's detention, and against it.

Albert Rivera, the president of the pro-Spain Citizens party, celebrated the detention of Carles Puigdemont, who he accused of trying to carry out a “coup.”

Elsa Artadi, a member of the Catalan parliament, responded to his detention by writing on Twitter: “Spain does not guarantee a fair trial, only revenge and repression.”

Demonstrators were hit with police batons as they tried to reach the office of the Spanish government’s representative in Catalonia.

Catalan police have blocked the street and issued a call for people not to gather.

The ex-president's arrest comes just two days after he was charged with rebellion for his attempt to declare independence from Spain.

Thirteen separatist politicians from the region were also been charged with the same and could face up to 30 years in prison under Spanish laws.

Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena issued the indictment on Friday, wrapping up a four-month long investigation into the events last autumn.

Pro independence demonstrators march in support of ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. Credit: AP

A former member of Catalonia's regional government is preparing to hand herself in to police in Scotland following the indictment.

Police Scotland said it had been in contact with a solicitor for Clara Ponsati, the former Catalan education minister.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We can confirm we are in possession of a European arrest warrant for Clara Ponsati.

"We have made a number of enquiries to try to trace her and have now been contacted by her solicitor, who is making arrangements for Ms Ponsati to hand herself into police."

Earlier this month Ms Ponsati revealed on social media that she had returned to working at the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

She had been in Belgium since fleeing Spain along with Mr Puigdemont and three other former cabinet members following an unsuccessful bid to declare independence from Spain in October.

Pro-independence supporters are trying to reach the Spanish government office in Barcelona, Spain. Credit: AP

Nicola Sturgeon says officials are "legally obliged" to follow the extradition procedures for a fugitive Catalan politician in Scotland, even though her government strongly opposes Spain’s decision to arrest and imprison Catalonia’s separatist leaders.

She said: "The fact that our justice system is legally obliged to follow due process in the determination of extradition requests does not change those views.

"Under the Extradition Act 2003, Scottish ministers have no role in the determination of European Arrest Warrants."

Also charged with rebellion are Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, separatist activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart and ERC party leader Marta Rovira, who on Friday announced that she was fleeing Spain.