The Mission Of The European Parliament Questions The Government’s Response To Espionage With Pegasus

The spokespersons for the mission that the European Parliament has sent to Spain within the framework of the commission of investigation on the espionage with Pegasus have questioned the response given by the Government to the Catalangate scandal that pointed out that the mobile phone of 65 people linked to the independence movement was infected with that surveillance system that only governments can acquire. Although they have welcomed the proposed legislative changes -the reform of the law on official secrets and regulation of the CNI (which Defense has not yet presented)-, they have expressed doubts about that reaction and the replacement of the then director of the services secrets if, as the Executive maintains, everything had been done legitimately.

A report from the Pegasus commission of the European Parliament points to the Government in the espionage of Catalan independentists

A report from the Pegasus commission of the European Parliament points to the Government in the espionage of Catalan independentists

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“It is still a question why the changes in the law and the replacement of the president of the CNI were carried out if the actions of the State Security Corps were really legitimate,” the president of the commission said at a press conference. , Jeroen Lenaers (of the PPE), who has taken the opportunity to launch a taunt at the Executive, who has given a very low profile to the visit and has left the explanations in the hands of the Secretary of State for European Affairs. “It would have been useful to hear more about this and clarify these questions with Minister Bolaños,” he said.

Both Lenaers and the rapporteur of the report of conclusions, the Dutch Sophie In ‘t Veld (Renew), have recalled that Spain has only recognized espionage with judicial authorization to 18 of those investigated. “We need clarity from the authorities”, said the Liberal MEP, who recalled that the Ombudsman’s evaluation was limited to “procedural legality” and not “proportionality”. That is why the department led by Ángel Gabilondo concluded that the 18 recognized by the CNI were in accordance with the law. “For 47 cases there is no explanation whatsoever, leaving the victims without any recourse,” concluded In ‘t Veld, which has recommended that the Spanish authorities “invite Europol to help in the forensic examination of the devices.”

“Although espionage may be legal in well-defined circumstances, those affected must have the right to legal recourse. Based on the statements provided by the alleged victims, we have the impression that this has not always been the case, as legal proceedings have dragged on for a long time without action and people felt that their concerns had not been impartially and neutrally investigated. ”, said the European PP MEP: “We urge the authorities to cooperate with the courts to allow maximum transparency and build trust in the legal system”.

For its part, In ‘t Veld has recalled that espionage can be used “only in cases where there is clear evidence of damage to national security” and has questioned that the pro-independence leaders were investigated without there having been “criminal cases” afterwards. ”. Los Verdes – the group of which ERC is a part – has also lamented the lack of transparency of the Government.

On the part of the Socialists and Democrats, the PSOE MEP Iban García del Blanco assures that the Government has promised to “follow the final recommendations that result from the Pegasus commission”. In addition, he maintains that he has provided information on the 18 cases in which the CNI was involved. “Regarding the rest of the cases claimed, we hope that the courts clarify as soon as possible if they occurred and what their origin could be,” he adds.

In addition to meeting with deputies of the Parliament and representatives of civil society, the MEPs that made up the mission have received the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, who was one of the pro-independence leaders whose phone was infected, at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Madrid with Israeli software. “The Spanish State has neglected the victims of espionage, how responsibilities have not been assumed and how many questions remain to be answered”, he said before entering.

“Plausible” that Morocco is behind the espionage of the Government

Aragonès has been answered by former minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, who was part of the mission, justifying the espionage by the alleged links of the independence movement with Russia and by the investigations into the Defense Committees of the Republic (CDR), reports Europa Press.

The other leg of the mission was to gather information on the espionage of Pedro Sánchez and various members of the Government, including Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Margarita Robles. Although the president of the Commission has shown sympathy for the low profile of the Executive with the mission -given that Monday was a holiday and that the debate on the motion of censure began on Tuesday in which Vox has presented Ramón Tamames- he has admitted that they would have liked to be received either by the ministers who deal with these matters or by those who were victims. In any case, he has said that the Secretary of State is “better than nothing” and has recalled that in Hungary and Poland the authorities refused to meet with the MEPs.

What the MEPs have concluded is that it is “plausible” that Morocco was behind the infection of the phones of the members of the Government. In fact, Lenaers has assured that some of the authorities with whom they have met showed “fear” that there could be reprisals if the Alawite regime is directly pointed out.

Both Lenaers and In ‘t Veld have ensured that the trip to Madrid has been useful in drawing up the conclusions of the report of the Pegasus commission, which faces more than a thousand amendments. PSOE and PP hope to lower the initial ideas of the Dutch speaker, who pointed to the Government in spying on the independence movement.

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