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The Catalan president-in-exile, MEP Carles Puigdemont, denounced this Monday that the European Parliament's Pegasus report - which has just been approved in committee - "follows the Spanish government line". Puigdemont regretted that the European Parliament committee is "legitimizing a technology that is incompatible with human rights and maintaining double standards between states", he asserted in a statement.

The report entitled "Investigation of alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware" was approved in committee and still needs to be definitively approved in a plenary session of the European Parliament. Clearly, the results did not completely satisfy Puigdemont, and for this reason he abstained from voting on this document that describes the facts related to espionage with invasive Pegasus spyware in EU countries. In addition, Puigdemont voted against the recommendations, which, according to the exiled president, "protect the Spanish state" and "legitimize the use of cyberespionage technologies in Europe".

The report acknowledges the seriousness of cyberespionage

The report, drafted by the Dutch MEP Sophie in't Veld, was passed by the European chamber's Pegasus committee. Puigdemont acknowledges that the report highlights "the seriousness of the practice of espionage" and that it points out that "a single infected phone" can compromise the information of every institution.

The document also denounces that governments did not cooperate in the investigation, and highlights the case of the Spanish government. According to the statement made by the Junts party MEPs on the report, with regard to the Spanish state and Catalangate, it "shows the gravity of what happened", but, he adds, "unfortunately, it follows the Spanish government line in the conclusions section".

"The text is clear in its denunciation of the lack of responses and cooperation from the Spanish authorities, and notes the refusal to open a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the espionage using Pegasus, a refusal shared with Poland", says the statement. In fact, the committee agreed to record the fact of Spain's avoidance of a Pegasus inquiry after Carles Puigdemont himself proposed in an amendment that it should be stated.  

Report criticizes Franco's official secrets act

The document also criticizes Franco's official secrets act, which is still in force, and denounces the situation of judges failing to accept as valid evidence the Citizen Lab report on the mass espionage against the Catalan independence movement. It also noted that the espionage was carried out on people who were in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and France and highlights the case against the lawyer Gonzalo Boye.

In its conclusions, maintains Puigdemont, the report defines Spain as a state that "has an independent judicial system with sufficient safeguards", a statement that "completely contradicts the entire corpus of the report itself". Also, unlike in other countries, the report's section on Spain leaves everything in the hands of the country's courts and does not talk about political persecution being carried out. "This position with regard to the Spanish state creates a double standard, since in the face of events very similar to those in Poland, the response of the report is to continue expressing confidence in the Spanish judiciary, in the face of all the evidence", denounces the president-in-exile. Consequently, and despite the "good assessment of almost the entire text of the investigation report, president Puigdemont abstained both in the text referring to the Spanish state and in the final vote on the report".