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European Parliament mission questions government response to Pegasus spying

Spokesmen for the mission sent by the European Parliament to Spain as part of the Pegasus Commission of Inquiry into espionage have questioned the government’s response to the Catalangate scandal, which said 65 people’s mobile phones were linked. The independence movement has been infected with a surveillance system that only governments can afford. While they welcomed the proposed legislative changes – reform of the Secret Service Act and regulation of the CNI (which the Ministry of Defense has yet to introduce), they expressed doubts about this reaction and the replacement of the then Director of Secret Services. If, as the executive authorities claim, everything was done legitimately.

“There is still a question as to why the changes in the law were made and the president of the CNI was changed, if the actions of the state security corps were really legitimate,” the president of the commission said at a press conference. Lenaers (from the PPE), who took the opportunity to sneer at the executive who gave the visit too little credit and left the explanations in the hands of the Secretary of State for European Affairs. “It would be useful to hear more about this and clarify these questions with the responsible minister,” he told the head of the presidency, Felix Bolanos.

Both Lenaer and the rapporteur for the findings report, Dutch Sophie in t Veld (Update), recalled that Spain had only admitted espionage to 18 of those investigated with judicial permission. “We need clarity from the government,” said the liberal MEP, who recalled that the ombudsman’s assessment was limited to “procedural legality” and not “proportionality.” That is why the department led by Angel Gabilondo concluded that the 18 recognized by the CNI were in accordance with the law. “There is no explanation for 47 cases, leaving the victims without any help,” concluded In’t Veld, who recommended that Spanish authorities “invite Europol to assist in the forensic examination of the devices.”

“While spying may be legal in well-defined circumstances, victims should have the right to legal recourse.” Based on the statements of the alleged victims, we have the impression that this was not always the case, as the trial dragged on for a long time without action and people felt that their concerns were not investigated impartially and neutrally.” said the European PP MEP: “We call on the authorities to cooperate with the courts to ensure maximum transparency and build trust in the legal system”.

For its part, In’t Veld recalled that espionage can be used “only in cases where there is clear evidence of harm to national security” and questioned whether the pro-independence leaders were investigated without “criminal cases” occurring afterwards. . “. Los Verdes – a group of which the ERC is a part – also laments the government’s lack of transparency.

On the side of the Socialists and Democrats, PSOE MEP Iban García del Blanco claims that the government has promised to “implement the final recommendations that will be received from the Pegasus Commission”. In addition, he claims to have provided information on 18 cases involving the CNI. “As for the rest of the requested cases, we hope that the courts will find out as soon as possible whether they happened or not and what their origin might be,” he adds.

In addition to meeting MEPs and civil society representatives, the MEPs who made up the mission received Generalitat President Pere Aragonés, one of the pro-independence leaders whose phone was infected, at their headquarters. European Parliament in Madrid with Israeli software. “The Spanish state has neglected the victims of espionage, how they have not taken responsibility and how many questions remain to be answered,” he said before entering.

Morocco is “allegedly” behind government espionage

Aragones was answered by former minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, who was part of a mission that justified the spying on the independence movement’s alleged ties to Russia and the investigation of the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), reports Europa Press.

The second phase of the mission was to gather information about the espionage of Pedro Sánchez and various members of the government, including Fernando Grande-Marlasca and Margarita Robles. Although the commission president sympathized with the executive’s low profile for the mission – given that Monday was a holiday and that the debate on the censure request began on Tuesday, in which Vox presented Ramon Tamames – he admitted that they wanted to receive or ministers who These issues are addressed, or affected. In any case, he said the secretary of state was “better than nothing” and recalled that the authorities in Hungary and Poland had refused to meet with MEPs.

MEPs concluded that it was “likely” that Morocco was behind the infection of the phones of government members. In fact, Lenaers asserted that some of the authorities they met with expressed “fear” that there might be reprisals if they pointed directly to the Alawite regime.

Both Lenaers and In’t Veld found the trip to Madrid useful in drawing up the conclusions of the Pegasus Commission report, which faces more than a thousand amendments. The PSOE and PP hope to play down the Dutch speaker’s initial comments, which suggested the government was spying on the independence movement.

Source: El Diario





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