Spain: Sanchez vows to ‘account’ for Catalan separatist leaders’ surveillance with Pegasus

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The Spanish prime minister has vowed before parliament today that he will be “accountable” for the alleged espionage scandal against Catalan separatist leaders that threatens his minority government.

“We will be held accountable,” said the Socialist leader, who spoke on the issue for the first time since a Canadian report on spying on more than 60 separatists using Israeli Pegasus software was released last Monday.

“This is a serious issue that requires serious answers,” he said, noting that his government had announced on Sunday that it was launching an internal inquiry into the National Intelligence Center (CNI) along with an Ombudsman inquiry and a parliamentary scrutiny of intelligence services. .

Promising “maximum transparency” and the possibility of declassifying documents, Sanchez, however, defended the action of the secret services. “Everything CNI did was done, accurately and strictly, within the law,” he said.

As his government relies heavily on parliamentary support for the separatist ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) party, Sanchez called on the party to “rebuild trust” with the government and not withdraw its support.

The Catalan separatists have been accusing Madrid since last week of spying on more than 60 people, including members of the movement, by installing Regasus software on their mobile phones between 2017 and 2020, following the publication of a report by the Canadian Citizen Lab.

The software allows, once installed on a mobile phone, to access messaging applications, data, or to activate the device remotely for audio or video capture purposes.

From the beginning of this case, the government has never admitted that the separatists were spied on.

Citing sources close to the CNI, however, the newspaper El Pais reported yesterday, Tuesday, that the Spanish intelligence services had indeed carried out espionage against the Catalan separatists but with the permission of justice and in a targeted, not mass, way.

In another gesture to appease the separatists, the Socialist Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday approved a change in the way members of the parliamentary committee on “official secrets” will be elected in the future, which will examine the action of the intelligence services in this case so that the ERC can participate in it.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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