Barcelona (ACN).- Has Spanish government ever used the police to investigate pro-independence leaders in order to discredit their movement? A now-retired Spanish police inspector implies so. José Manuel Villarejo admitted that “some politicians have tried to use police for political aims” in an interview to TV program ‘Salvados’ on Sunday. Talking about the current head of Spanish police, Ignacio Cosidó, Villarejo suggested that he was working under the instruction of the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría. “He boasted that he did not trust the secretary of State or the minister of Home Affairs and that he was in touch directly with the Spanish vice-president.”
Villarejo claimed that shortly after Popular Party won an absolute majority in the 2011 Spanish general election he was sent for a year to Catalonia to investigate the family of the former Catalan president Jordi Pujol, who held power during 23 years. Pujol had never held an explicit pro-independence stance when being a president. However, in the first years of the 2010s he adopted a secessionist position, at the same time that pro-independence feeling was making a boost in the whole country. In 2014, after many suspicions coming from Spanish media, Pujol admitted having evaded taxes following an inheritance that he had received from his father.
Former Spanish police inspector’s statement comes just few weeks after two human rights associations, IDHA and Drets, from Andorra and Catalonia respectively, filed a complaint before the courts in the Pyrenean country against four Spanish police officers. According to both organizations, the highly ranked officials should be investigated for crimes such as threatening, coercion and extortion of citizens of Andorra with the objective of “obtaining information” on “supposedly existing bank accounts” of Catalan pro-independence politicians in order “to destroy their public image”.
Villarejo claimed on Monday in RAC1 radio station that he would be happy to appear before the Catalan parliament committee in which this alleged deliberate smear campaign by Spanish government and police against Catalan leaders called ‘Operation Catalonia’ is being investigated. “It is the place where citizenship power lies”, he said, although he doubted being able to do so as he believes he needs to get permission from Spanish Home Affairs Minister to appear on the Catalan chamber.