Falciani says his extradition case takes place in very “strange” geopolitical situation

Whistleblower expresses confidence that Spanish justice will prioritize fight against fraud over "internal" issues when dealing with his case

Falciani on Wednesday (by ACN)
Falciani on Wednesday (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 2, 2018 05:09 PM

IT engineer Hervé Falciani has expressed his confidence that the Spanish justice system will prioritize the fight against fraud and tax evasion to “pending issues at an international level” when dealing with Switzerland’s request for his extradition.

Falciani said that he has no reason to change his opinion about Spanish justice and its separation of powers, although he has admitted that his legal situation is "rare at the procedural level" and that it is explained "at the geopolitical level and of internal Spanish politics.”

He was arrested in Spain on April 4 following the flight of two Catalan pro-independence MPs seeking refuge in Switzerland. The Spanish justice minister said that there was no link between the arrest of Falciani and the international arrest warrant issued by the Spanish judiciary for Marta Rovira of Esquerra Republicana.

Another pro-independence politician, far-left CUP Anna Gabriel, is also in Geneva, and although no international arrest warrant against her has been issued, she is wanted by the Spanish authorities and would be arrested if she goes back to Spain. 

Falciani was released while a decision on his case is made. On the day of his release, Spain’s justice minister Rafael Català said that “there is no political decisions or government handling in these issues,” insisting that the arrest of Falciani who caused a tax evasion scandal at the Swiss bank when he leaked data on thousands of wealthy customers, is simply due to “an international request and an exercise of cooperation by security forces, as will later happen in the courts.”

Switzerland denies Spanish government statement

Catalá justified Falciani’s detention after Switzerland reissued its request for his arrest on March 19. After Catalá's statement, a spokesman from the Swiss government told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that the international arrest warrant against Falciani was reissued in May 2017. "It is completely wrong to claim that he has only been wanted since March 19, 2018," pointed out the spokesman from the Swiss justice ministry.

According to the official, Switzerland reissued the international arrest warrant in May last year at the request of the public prosecutor's office of the Canton of Geneva. In addition, the spokesman recalled that Falciani "is no longer wanted for the purpose of prosecution but for the purpose of executing the prison sentence." 

 “It’s not just me who sees that Spain at the internal political level is in a very rare situation,” Falciani said on Wednesday. “Normally we could imagine that it has no effect on matters like mine but it is not so simple,” he went on to say.