Article published at Catalan News Agency, 12th July 2016
Photo: Pro-independence supporters demonstrating in front of a police station displaying the Spanish flag (by ACN)
Barcelona (CNA).- A 500-page-long police report has proved that there was an ‘Operation Catalonia’ aimed at smearing pro-independence politicians during the Spanish Government’s last term of office, held by the Conservative People Party (PP). According to an article published this Tuesday by ‘El Periódico’, to discredit the whole pro-independence process in Catalonia was one of the main competences that Inspector José Villarejo was entrusted with. It is claimed that Villarejo launched ‘Operation Catalonia’ together with former police Head of Internal Affairs, Marcelino Martin Blas, in 2012, coinciding with electoral periods. Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, said that he considered these plots “repugnant” and that they make him “cringe”. The news comes less than a month after the release of several tapes that proved that current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz and former Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel De Alfonso, plotted to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties.
Another name which appears in the report is that of Rafel Redondo, Villarejo’s lawyer and partner. He joined Maria Victòria Álvarez, the former girlfriend of the eldest son of Jordi Pujol, who is the historical leader of the centre-right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), in his declaration before the Court, during which she accused Pujol’s son of having shady business. Redondo also joined Javier De La Rosa, another person involved in the revelations made by Victòria Álvarez and former PP leader in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, and which were later leaked. Redondo aimed to have the whole trial moved to Spain’s National Audience when Barcelona’s High Court decided to close the case.
The report also refers to Francisco Nicolás, a young man who has become popular in the last years for having allegedly worked for Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI). According to the investigation, Nicolás is said to have contacted Pujol’s family to offer them assistance in the different trials they had to face. In exchange, he would have asked for information to discredit left-wing pro-independence ERC.
Junqueras: “It makes me cringe”
Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, said that he considered these plots “repugnant”. “It makes me cringe and I want them as far away as possible”, he stated in an interview with ‘Catalunya Ràdio’. Junqueras lamented that the Spanish Government used “the sewers of the state” to “discredit Catalonia’s pro-independence process” by “land, sea and air”. Nevertheless, he pointed out that “they haven’t succeeded”.
Junqueras called again for the dismissal of current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Días, who has repeatedly denied the existence of a dirty war against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. Fernández Díaz was recently involved in another smear scandal; recordings published by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ showed that he and former Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel De Alfonso, plotted to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties. According to Junqueras, “in any normal and democratic country” such scandals would have led to the resignation of the Ministry for Home Affairs and the President of the Government.
Conspiracy involving PP and Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office
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