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A new offensive against the instigators of Operation Catalonia. The former Catalan economy minister, Jaume Giró, has this Monday presented a complaint in the Madrid courts against the former Spanish interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, of the People's Party (PP), his second-in-command at interior, Francisco Martínez, the former general secretary of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, and the retired Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo for having spied on him at the start of Operation Catalonia, in 2012, when he held no political office, and was the deputy general manager of CaixaBank, with the espionage motivated only by his ideology - specifically, his support for Catalan sovereignty. Giró, with his lawyer Jordi Pina, has agreed to file the complaint, after last summer the public prosecutors at the Supreme Court dismissed another complaint made against the PP's so-called "patriotic police" and PP senator Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, referring it on to the National Audience judge who is investigating Villarejo in the Tandem corruption trial - but who also refused to investigate it.

"It must be denounced, no matter where it ends up judicially", Giró declared this Monday to the media, in addition to insisting that what happened was persecution of the Convergència (CDC) party for its adoption of pro-sovereignty policies. In the complaint, Giró accuses the ex-leaders of the PP of crimes of disclosure of secrets, misuse of public funds, and forming a criminal organization and a criminal group. In this regard, the former Catalan president Artur Mas is also now considering filing a complaint against the PP's patriotic police, in which the same lawyer, Jordi Pina, is already working.


The precedent of Sandro Rosell

Giró follows in the footsteps of others affected by Operation Catalonia, after knocking on the door of the public prosecutors and the National Audience to investigate his espionage by so-called sewers of the Spanish state. The former president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell has been the first to get a response: Madrid court number 13 accepted his complaint alleging a long list of crimes - criminal organization, falsification of an official document, false accusation and denunciation, misuse of public funds and illegal detentions - charges of which he is accusing Villarejo, two other police officers and an FBI agent in Madrid. For now, he does not accuse senator Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, the person alleged to have given the names of espionage targets to Villarejo, on behalf of Cospedal, according to some audio recordings that were made public last summer. Sánchez Camacho is, as a senator, subject to protection from ordinary court investigation and thus charges against her need to be brought to the Supreme Court. In Rosell's case, judge Manuel García Castellón denied a connection with the Tandem case, but admitted "the seriousness of the allegations in the complaint" and that the facts "had the appearance of a crime".

More complaints against the Patriotic Police'

And there are further complaints also being lodged over the same wide-ranging dirty war. The former executive director of Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA), Joan Pau Miquel, also filed a complaint against Villarejo and the patriotic police of the PP, which is in the hands of Madrid court number 9, which has yet to resolve whether to admit it. In the same situation is the complaint made by Narciso Ortega, former chief Spanish National Police commissioner in Catalonia, which is being hear by Madrid court number 37. The Sumarroca family, linked to the Convergència case of the illegal 3% commissions, as well as to that of the Pujol family, has also filed a complaint in the Madrid courts, which is still to be assigned. There are others affected, such as Oriol Pujol, who through the lawyer Xavier Melero is considering filing a complaint, as well as businessmen Carles Vilarrubí and Susana Monge, ex-directors of Barça. If more lawsuits flourish, it is most likely that the defence lawyer of former commissioner Villarejo, who is present in all of them, will ask for them to be unified in the same court.

Sánchez-Camacho, later

In the 28-page complaint, the lawyer Jordi Pina sets out that from 2012 and in subsequent years "to slow down the rise of the independence movement in Catalonia, various units of the Police, members of the PP government of Spain, leaders of the PP itself and even some media conspired to devise a plan, called Operation Catalonia, to obtain information and fabricate false evidence to intimidate, investigate, harm and discredit people, public officials and businesspeople. And the complaint cites the presidents of Catalonia Jordi Pujol and Artur Mas, the former Barcelona mayor (and current candidate) Xavier Trias, the then president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, and the former director of La Vanguardia, José Antich.

He adds that on November 6th, 2012, the then commissioner of the Spanish police, José Manuel Villarejo, and the then president of the Catalan PP, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, met at her home, and she gave him a "black list", as he called it, of businesspeople and politicians who he was required to follow and impede because of their pro-independence profile. Pina points out that it was a meeting a few days before the parliamentary elections, on November 25th, 2012. Sánchez-Camacho handed over Giró's mobile number, "obviously to intercept his communications illegally and without judicial control, and he was even followed illegally", states Jordi Pina in the complaint.

The lawyer states that Sánchez-Camacho's action "is not isolated", but "is the transmission belt between the leadership of her party and the so-called patriotic police, headed by Villarejo, who persecuted those who he considered adversaries for ideological reasons". Last summer, the audio of this meeting was leaked, and for that reason some of those affected filed complaints with the prosecution service and at the Supreme Court because Sánchez-Camacho, being a political office holder, is required to be sent before a high court for such an accusation. Pina explains that there is clear evidence for laying a complaint against the former Catalan PP leader, but that they have not done so yet because the Supreme Court had instructed the Sumarroca family to first question Villarejo about the meeting, and then, should there be clearer evidence, refer it to the Supreme Court.

The involvement of the Interior minister 

The complaint also details that on December 16th, 2012 the then interior minister of Spain, Fernández Díaz, and the head of the Spanish police, Eugenio Pino, as well as commissioner Villarejo, agreed to present several complaints to the National Audience and the courts against pro-independence leaders such as presidents Pujol and Mas, and that, although the former minister Fernández Díaz stated that this meeting did not take place, it was leaked to the media years later by Villarejo, who has several open cases against him. Lawyer Pina affirms that the leaders of the PP and the police chiefs formed a criminal organization or group, and maintains: "In addition to fighting independence through criminal means, this organization also acted with the aim of pre-fabricating evidence against all those who considered themselves close to the Catalan independence movement, with the aim of trying to slow its rise".

In the main photo, former Catalan minister Jaume Giró, with his lawyer Jordi Pina, last June in the courts of Barcelona, where he had denounced having been spied on by Spain's PP government / Photo: Sergi Alcàzar