Andorra responds. An judge in Andorra has summonsed the former Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, two ministers from his Partido Popular (PP) government, Cristóbal Montoro and Jorge Fernández Díaz, and former officials in the interior ministry, to testify as defendants over the so-called Operation Catalonia campaign of political espionage and sabotage, as requested last November by the legal body Drets and the Andorran Institute of Human Rights. Lawyer Agustí Carles has confirmed to ElNacional.cat that a rogatory letter has been sent to Spain and that the defendants must cite an Andorran lawyer to represent them or be assigned one, ex officio. It remains to be seen how the Spanish government will respond.
With the complaint, Drets and the Andorran Institute of Human Rights want the judiciary to determine what role the Spanish and Andorran governments played in the winding up of the Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA) bank and the pressures exerted on the bank to provide information on alleged bank accounts held by Catalan politicians Jordi Pujol and his family, Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras, actions that took place in the context of an alleged campaign to undermine the Catalan independence movement. In October 2020, the judge admitted the complaint lodged for alleged offences of document forgery and coercion of constitutional bodies against former Spanish PM Rajoy. Former interior minister Fernández Díaz is also considered the perpetrator of offences of threats, coercion, extortion and blackmail, along with former secretary of the interior Francisco Martínez Vázquez and former police director-general Ignacio Cosidó.
Last November, Drets and the human rights institute presented a new letter to the judge of Andorra's specialized investigative court section 2 in which they requested new evidence and court testimonies. The justification related to a report from the Spanish public prosecutor's office and a resolution from Spain's National Audience in October 2021, which confirmed that the notes made by former Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo on the Andorran section of Operation Catalonia, "were police and official notes." These intelligence notes are included in the case and were recognized and ratified by former commissioner Villarejo.
As for inspector Celestino Barroso, also summonsed as a defendant, he provided the response from the Spanish government, under which his diplomatic immunity has been maintained on an ongoing basis. Barroso, the Spanish interior ministry's attache to its embassy in Andorra, met with the chief executive of the BPA bank, Joan Pau Miquel, in May 2014, informing him that the financial institution had the option of either collaborating with the Spanish government or the bank "would die", and "that the Americans were already informed of all this."
The case of the winding-up of the BPA bank is continuing as a separate trial in Andorra. Its owners also filed an administrative disputes complaint against the Spanish government for causing the bank to go bankrupt, for which they claim 141 million euros in compensation.