The National Intelligence Center (CNI) has admitted that a certain number of independentists were spied on, about twenty and not the 65 that it published The New Yorkerand has justified it by showing the deputies with access to reserved information the authorizations given by the judge of the Supreme Court attached to the intelligence body, Pablo Lucas, to carry out this espionage.
But the explanations offered by the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban, before the parliamentary spokespersons that make up the Reserved Expenses Commission have not convinced the ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufián. “We left as we entered, there have been no official or unofficial secrets,” said Rufián, who maintains that he does not break the law — which obliges the members of this commission to remain silent about what is discussed there — by revealing part of that appearance because the bulk of it has dealt with things already “leaked” to the media.
As detailed, Paz Esteban has attended the appointment with documentation that contained the judicial authorizations for the wiretaps carried out by the CNI, has indicated that he could not speak specifically about the Pegasus program and has not offered any solution to this situation. Rufián has refused to specify how many people would have been spied on with a court order, according to the CNI version, alleging that he could “disable” him if he did so. According to his version, for the rest of the people who have been victims of wiretapping, including the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; or the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles; The director of the CNI has pointed out two possible ‘culprits’: one or several foreign countries, or members of “other State agencies that also had espionage capacity with a parasitic program such as Pegasus, in reference to the so-called ‘sewers’ of the State.
The PP bought Pegasus, according to Rufián
At this point, he recalled that different investigation commissions have certified the existence of those ‘uncontrolled elements’ that have illegally spied and even that “the PP bought Pegasus via (its former secretary general and former defense minister) María Dolores de Cospedal, through the commissioner (José Manuel) Villarejo”.
In this context, Rufián added that “when pointing to a foreign nation or other State agencies” it is “also pointing to the Interior”. The ERC spokesman did not want to answer whether the chief of the spies has given more names of spies of the Executive beyond Sánchez or the Minister of Defense but, at another point in his statement, he has assumed that “surely” they have other “senior government officials” have been spied on.
For Rufián, if it has been a foreign nation that has spied on the government, it would show “a terrible hole in national security.” “If a foreign nation spies on people’s faces or their ideas, the security of the State would be called into question and, therefore, its highest officials, in this case the highest officials would have to resign,” he said, pointing to Robles and the Paz Esteban herself, whose situation she considers “unsustainable”.
In his opinion, the option that there has been “competition between state agencies to spy on independentistas” would also be “bad.” In this case, from his point of view, the responsibilities should also reach the Ministry of the Interior.
Vox denies the version of uncontrolled elements
However, this version offered by Rufián about alleged uncontrolled elements of the State apparatus has not been confirmed by other attendees of the commission, not even in private conversation. Moreover, some spokesmen have publicly denied it, such as Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, from Vox, who has remarked at a press conference that there is no record of these activities outside the CNI hierarchy.
As he underlined, Paz Esteban has made it clear that nothing has been done outside the regulatory framework or the hierarchy: “There is nothing that goes beyond the law, nor does anyone act freely or outside a hierarchical structure,” he stated. –.
At all, that cannot be deduced from uncontrolled elements”. The appearance of the director of the CNI has confirmed the “concern” of the independentistas and Podemos while she has reaffirmed the compliance with the legality of the PSOE, the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos.
Without cell phones, but with a notebook
The spokespersons for the parliamentary groups have been forced to leave their mobile phones outside the room where the appearance was held, but they have had the opportunity to consult and take notes for a few minutes on the documentation provided by Paz Esteban, according to revealed some of those present.
What they have not had details about, as they have pointed out, has been the use or not of the Pegasus program by the CNI, whose director has accepted article 11 of the law that regulates secret services and that marks that Parliament may have access to knowledge of classified matters “with the exception of those relating to sources and means”.
The same sources have pointed out that he has not responded to the questions of the parliamentary spokesmen about the espionage on the mobile phones of the Chief Executive and the Minister of Defense, since the order of the day only alluded to the independentistas included in the report of ‘Citizen Lab’.
In any case, they assure that Paz Esteban has celebrated the constitution of the Commission of Reserved Expenses after almost two and a half years of legislature and has offered to appear whenever required.