Audiencia Nacional judge (1) Santiago Pedraz concurs with the court’s prosecutor and will not reopen the inquiry prompted by Catalan police officers who reported that Spanish police had tipped off the jihadi cell that they were watching. Pedraz agrees with the prosecution’s view that none of the actions by the Spanish police officers jeopardised the investigation nor the safety of the Catalan officer working undercover within the jihadi group.
Prosecutor Blanca Rodríguez wrote to judge Pedraza arguing that “the police investigation of the activities [of the jihadi cell] did not suffer as a result of the actions by a third party, nor was the risk of a terrorist attack any higher; likewise, the personal safety of the officer involved (working undercover) in the case was not jeopardised and he was able to bring the investigation to a successful end, thus avoiding any potential terrorist attacks”.
According to the prosecution, the additional information provided by the Catalan police on the tip-off they reported is based on a statement by a witness “without direct knowlege” of the events, who gave “a general account based on hearsay, without providing further details worthy of consideration in order to reopen the inquiry”.
Likewise, the prosecution requests that the inquiry be dropped, after the Catalan police had submitted futher details about a protected witness so that Pedraz might reopen the case of the tip-off to the Islamic cell which the Mossos (2) took down.
A tip-off that prompted three jihadis to flee
Last week Catalonia’s Home Secretary Ramon Espadaler reported that two Spanish police officers had warned the jihadi cell that they were being watched by the Catalan police. According to Espadaler, this jeopardised the operation and the personal safety of the officers conducting the investigation; it prompted the suspects to change their behaviour and meant that three of the militants attempted to flee to Syria via Bulgaria, where they were eventually arrested.
(1) N.T. Spain’s Audiencia Nacional is a Madrid-based special court of law that deals with major organised crime, such as terrorism.
(2) N.T. Several police forces operate in Catalonia, including Spain’s Policía Nacional and Catalonia’s own police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra. The latter is tasked with law enforcement in nearly every area, including terrorism, as is the Spanish police.