Director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Peace Steven, appeared this Thursday in Congress in the Commission on Official Secrets. At the said meeting, which lasted almost four hours, the top intelligence service officials admitted that the center was spying on 18 people with court sanction and this was isolated from the rest of the names that, according to the Canadian Citizen Lab research, were infected with Pegasus, which includes more than 60 leaders and activists associated with the independence movement.
This was confirmed by several members of the panel behind closed doors, and the appointment was facilitated by the Pegasus affair, which also involves Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles. In this sense, several deputies assured that the reasons given in the 18 court authorizations for espionage were “political motives”.
At the end of the commission, most of the participants made statements in which they shared their feelings, which are in line with the expectations set by the groups before attending the said parliamentary session. Thus, the PSOE, PP, Vox and Cs were satisfied with Esteban’s explanations, which reflect that the CNI’s actions were carried out “in accordance with the law”, as various representatives of these groups defined.
On the other hand, government partners and parties affected by espionage have expressed their “dissatisfaction” and “concern” with these explanations, making the congressional inquiry committee requested by these forces “more necessary than ever” and which was rejected in last Tuesday by socialists and rightists.
“We left more worried than we came because of what we were told, and we think this reinforces the need to take political responsibility,” he commented. Pablo Echenique, a spokesman for United We Can, whose group asked Presidency Minister Felix Bolaños to have the government, of which his space is a part, declassify the documentation provided this Thursday by Paz Esteban. “I’m not revealing anything if I say the CNI can’t report what it doesn’t know. Based on what the CNI knows, we are more concerned,” he decided.
ERC Representative, Gabriel Rufian, interpreted that the independents that Pegasus spied on without a court order were either a foreign country or countries or other government agencies. On the basis of the latter, he assured, “the interior is indicated.” However, either option is bad.
In the case of the former, “it would be a terrible hole in national security” if another country spied “in the face of the people, on their ideas” and, if so, would question its supreme authority. On the other hand, the second hypothesis that the espionage was the work of other government agencies, “from the sewers”, would also be negative news. “I’m leaving as restlessly as a Democrat as I came,” he insisted.
After his resignation from the commission, the NVD representative, Aitor Esteban, claimed that after what he learned this Thursday from the director of CNI, whose topic is reserved, “the fabric remains to be cut.” For her part, her colleague from EH Bildu, Merche Aizpuruaadded that “much remains to be clarified. We continue with the same unknowns that we had at the entrance. All the surprises that, according to the Minister of Defense, we were going to find in this commission, are striking in their absence. Lots of doubts and few surprises.
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