CNI director Paz Esteban appeared behind closed doors at the Congressional Reserved Expenditure Committee for just over three and a half hours to explain the espionage to people associated with the independence movement. The head of the Spanish intelligence services admitted that only part of the surveillance disclosed by the New Yorker was carried out by the CNI with court authorization. The rest, according to the representatives present, may be responsible for the secret services of other countries or “other government agencies with espionage capabilities,” as Gabriel Rufian said, leaving the commission.
As such, it still remains unknown what the government’s partners, including United We Can, are “more concerned about” than before Esteban’s appearance. Thus, the republican leader brought attention to the Ministry of the Interior, headed by Fernando Grande-Marlasca, which has so far remained out of controversy. “We are talking about sewers,” said Rufian, who assured that the situation was “also unacceptable for internal affairs.” Also Junta Deputy Miriam Nogueras pointed out that “the Ministry of Defense and the CNI are the tip of the iceberg.”
Regarding the number of clearances Esteban submitted, Rufian didn’t want to talk about it because revealing what happened while committing state secrets suggests committing a crime, but he said it had already been leaked with reference to 18 judicial clearances for spying on independent published by El Confidential a few days ago. The Supreme Court rulings are part of the documentation Esteban provided in a speech in which he explicitly did not want to talk about Pegasus on the grounds that the law prohibits disclosing the systems used by the CNI. Thus, practically no information about the espionage of Pedro Sanchez and Margarita Robles was received, despite the questions of parliamentarians.
United We Can spokesman Pablo Echenique acknowledged that the existence of the so-called sewerage of the state cannot be “denied”. “We left more excited. What we have been told confirms the idea that political responsibility is being assumed,” he said. The coalition’s minority partner formally demanded that the presidency’s minister, Felix Bolaños, “consider declassifying the information” that was given to the commission.
PSOE spokesman Hector Gómez’s conclusion is different because, in his opinion, “it has become clear that it has passed into the strict sphere of legality.” The socialist explained that the head of intelligence provided classified documentation to explain the espionage to independence leaders, but did not specify how many court orders he submitted and whether it applies to all individuals identified by Citizen Lab (about 65 people). ). “We take for granted the number of a publication that is not official,” Gomez defended, pointing out that it was “disinformation.” “Much more work needs to be done on the credibility of sources of information. This cannot be taken for granted without proof that this is the case,” he said.
PP spokeswoman Kuka Gamarra said after the director’s appearance that “the CNI has always acted within the intelligence directive” and “in accordance with applicable law” with “appropriate judicial clearances.”
This does not mean that of the more than 60 spies uncovered by the New Yorker, they were court-approved CNI agents. “All the actions that the CNI took against the people on this list were legally sanctioned. This does not mean that all people on the list were the subject of a CNI investigation,” he said.
The PP believes that his expectations were “fulfilled” thanks to the clarifications given by the director of the CNI. And they once again demanded that the government provide information. “The government should provide appropriate clarification on everything that affects communications and interference in their mobile devices,” Gamarra said. “This is a matter that the government has made public and they should provide information about these investigations and when they found out about it.” “Pedro Sanchez cannot hide behind the CNI. He must protect them from those who attack them,” he concluded.
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