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‘Pegasus’ appears in Reus municipal politics

Some coincidences have their crumb. The presentation of a second candidacy has shaken the primaries to elect mayor of Junts per Catalunya in Reus, because it was not in the script. And less so after the staging of Carles Pellicer’s goodbye invited Teresa Pallarès to be considered as a candidate in pectore for mayor, with an agreement with the PDeCAT finalized. But in these, Víctor Terradellas decided to take the step, which for now has caused a grotesque start to the primary process.

Last Friday, Junts announced that Pallarés would be the only candidate because Terradellas had not exceeded the required minimum of 20% guarantees from the militancy, a decision received with disbelief and indignation by the eliminated party, who claimed to have presented the necessary support. As the Diari advanced, it challenged the result and yesterday Junts announced that the electronic collection of guarantees will be repeated due to “a computer error”.

Despite his extensive career within the former Convergència – he was secretary of international relations – and his closeness to presidents Mas and Puigdemont, Terradellas can be considered an outsider in this process, because the Junts apparatus had already backed Pallarès.

It will be interesting to see the result that a lifelong independentista harvests against the official candidate at a time when the waters of the party and of sovereignty in general are revolting. A scenario that probably does not excite the upper echelons of Junts, in turn engaged in a delicate renewal of management, after the goodbye of Jordi Sánchez as general secretary and the resignation of Carles Puigdemont from the presidency.

He spoke of coincidences because the decision of Víctor Terradellas coincided in time with the scandal of massive espionage of politicians and pro-independence activists through the infection of Pegasus software on their mobile phones. And Terradellas has been in the news in recent years, especially on his phone.

Let us remember that in 2018 he was arrested in the framework of Operation Estela, which investigated alleged irregular subsidies to the Catmon and Ingman foundations, dedicated to international cooperation and directed by Reus. In the exploration of the mobile confiscated from Terradellas, recorded conversations were found with mentions of Russian connections, among them the famous phrase about what would happen if ten thousand Russian soldiers came to support Catalan independence.

Spied ‘officials’ and others

The Civil Guard relied on these contents to persecute the links between Catalan sovereignty and Russia. He called it Operation Volhov and obtained judicial authorization to monitor mobile phones and cars of historical CDC and ERC leaders who formed the so-called general staff of the procés.

Terradellas has always denied being the author of the recordings found on his phone, and it is clear that what we now know about the use of spyware is an argument that helps support his version. In any case, the cell phone of the Reus independence fighter is still confiscated by the justice system and has not been returned to him, so it has not been possible to carry out any forensic examination.

Returning to the Pegasus case, it so happens that the only official spied in the city until now, Jordi Domingo, also belongs to Junts per Catalunya, in addition to the Catalan National Assembly. Agricultural technical engineer, postgraduate in environmental management and master in territorial planning, he had participated in working groups on a future digital republic. The CNI saw in him a danger to national security.

The interview that Raúl Cosano has done this week in the Diari is essential reading to know what we are talking about when you are a victim of espionage by the secret services of the State.

The journey of these and similar matters will be long, because there are more people related to Reus who have been spied on. And so those affected know why in recent times they have known evidence that their privacy was assaulted within the framework of operations carried out outside the law.

But since this information belongs to its protagonists, and is also under summary secrecy, it will be necessary to hope that one day the victims will agree to reveal it, or that the judicial proceedings in which these data have surfaced will be public.

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