Tuesday 5/17/22
SPYING SCANDAL

Spain's secret service admits monitoring Catalan separatists' phones

It was recently reported that Pegasus had also been found on the cell phones of Prime Minister Sánchez, Defence Minister Margarita Robles and Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska

09/03/2022. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez greets the Secretary of State and Director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Paz Esteban (2nd L), and the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas, in the presence of the General Director of the Department of National Security, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros. Photo: La Moncloa.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez greets the Director of the Spanish national intelligence agency (CNI), Paz Esteban. Photo: La Moncloa/File photo.

Spain's CNI intelligence agency has admitted monitoring the phones of 18 Catalan separatists, including regional president Pere Aragonès, using the Israeli Pegasus software.

For each of the cases, CNI chief Paz Esteban presented judicial authorization to a parliamentary commission on Thursday, newspaper El País reported.

The affair, which has been dubbed 'Catalangate,' threatens the stability of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's minority government.

The left-wing Catalan party ERC has questioned its support for the Sánchez government because of the affair and it is calling for an inquiry.

It was recently reported that Pegasus had also been found on the cell phones of Sánchez, Defence Minister Margarita Robles and Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

Morocco blamed

Esteban did not provide any information in this regard.

Spanish media has speculated that Morocco could be behind this action. The source quoted by the Spanish state RTVE is a report from the British newspaper The Guardian.

According to the government in Madrid, some 3.6 gigabytes of data were stolen from Sanchez's phone.

Spain's secret service admits monitoring Catalan separatists' phones
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