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Prosecutor allegedly linked to Puigdemont espionage denies involvement

Government says issue is evidence of "failure" of Spain's rule of law, while opposition head party doubts judiciary is taking any action 'outside normal'

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09 April 2019 04:11 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish prosecutor allegedly linked to an espionage plot against former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has denied his involvement in the events.

Talking to the 'ARA' newspaper and confirmed by ACN over the phone, Carlos Bautista Samaniego expressed surprise at how it is possible to believe that a prosecutor takes part in an "unofficial" espionage operation.

Belgian police sources told ACN that their investigation on two tracking devices found in Puigdemont vehicles "proves without doubt" that a hotel was involved in the case.

Samaniego was lodged in the hotel in late January 2018, say the same sources.

In fact, the prosecutor confirms he spent some nights in the hotel, but said that the reason was a European antiterrorist meeting called Jupitter (Judges Prosecutors Involved in Tackling Terrorism).

"The invite to give a talk on good practice [on antiterrorism] was made by the Belgian federal prosecutor," said Samaniego to 'ARA'. He added that all eight attendees of the Jupitter gathering stayed in the same hotel.

Puigdemont: issue "disturbing"

Meanwhile, the Catalan government spokesperson said that the issue is "one more evidence of the failure" of Spain's rule of law and welcomed the police investigation.

Yet the Belgian judiciary has, pending an appeal, rejected to investigate further the prosecutor.

Puigdemont himself also reacted saying that the information is "disturbing" and called on Belgium's courts not to drop the investigation.

Ciutadans criticizes government over Puigdemont's office

Catalonia's main unionist party, Ciutadans, doubts that Spain's judiciary is making any move "outside the normal judicial and investigative actions taken by any democracy."

A senior MP for Ciutadans also criticized that the government is not releasing information on the budget of former president Puigdemont's office.

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  • The prosecutor in Spain's National Court Carlos Bautista Samaniego (by Twitter ICAIB)

  • The prosecutor in Spain's National Court Carlos Bautista Samaniego (by Twitter ICAIB)

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