Friday, August 07, 2009

So Who Spies On The Spies?

In the aftermath of the case of Mr Camps and his very fine suits, the Partido Popular has again opted for the politics of distraction. They are now claiming that the whole party is being subjected to illegal interception of communications, even affecting those few sections of the PP leadership stil left untouched by the multiple corruption scandals their representatives are involved in. The latest case in Mallorca leaves us with very few members of the former PP administration on that island who haven't yet been charged with corruption. Nevertheless, the obvious question that occurs to me about such allegations is how the PP leadership could possibly be sure that any espionage taking place doesn't come from within their own party?

Remember the Madrid espionage scandal? Well it hasn't gone away and despite the obligatory August break for exhausted judges, the case is continuing to advance. Mobile telephone records have blown apart the attempt by the Madrid PP to claim that the agents employed by Esperanza Aguirre's administration were not engaged in tracking the activities of former Aguirre loyalist Alfredo Prada after he opted to support Mariano Rajoy. It's now clear that Prada was followed by some former Guardia Civil officers who had been personally recruited by the regional secretary general of the PP, Francisco Granados. The latter of course shares his political position with that of being in charge of "justice" in the regional government, a situation which you're entitled to regard as coincidental if you want to. The main point is that it allows the agents to draw a salary as public servants instead of having their espionage expenses paid for by the PP.

Th evidence of the phone records was of course flatly denied at the time of the fraudulent commission of investigation into the affair. Granados and the Comunidad have now changed their argument to claim that the spies were engaging in tasks of ensuring the security of Prada - even though Prada himself has no knowledge of this and the Comunidad de Madrid does not possess any power to carry out this kind of task. It's a role still belonging to the national police. Apart from anything else, such security activities always have to be communicated to someone who has his own security escorts, otherwise you end up with shooting in the street. Someone has not told the truth and interestingly enough those who mislead parliamentary commissions are also committing an offence. Could be a busy autumn for the judges.

The similar case affecting Manuel Cobo, a key political ally of Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, is going to be more difficult to establish because the stored mobile phone records do not go back as far as the dates when he was said to have been followed. Clearly the pretext of security vigilance would be even more difficult to use in Cobo's case as he is not even a part of the regional government. Despite this, I think we have some credible suspects. María Dolores, they're behind you!

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