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MEPs denounce reports of political espionage

EFA MEP calls for investigation into phone hacking reports


EFA MEP Diana Riba (ERC) has submitted a written question to the European Commission which denounces the revelations of political espionage against leading Catalan politicians, published this week by the Guardian and El Pais newspapers.

The initiative has been supported by about fifteen MEPs from various parliamentary groups: Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Pernando Barrena, Izaskun Bilbao, Miguel Urbán, Kateřina Konečná, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Leïla Chaibi, Mounir Satouri, François Alfonsi, Nicolaj Villumsen, Benoit Biteau and David Cormand.

The newspapers alleged that the President of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, the President of the Republican group in Barcelona City Council and former EFA MEP, Ernest Maragall and the Former CUP member of parliament, Anna Gabriel, among others, were spied on.

According to reports, the espionage took place last last year through spyware on mobile phones that can only be bought by state government and security forces. This allows access to conversations, messages, hard drive and to take screenshots, review browsing history and remotely activate the camera and microphone.

In the written question submitted to the European Commission, the MEPs remind that the intervention in communications is prohibited by the ePrivacy Directive and calls on it, given that the spyware can only be used by governments, to investigate who is responsible for this flagrant violation of European law and the most basic democratic principles.

Diana Riba MEP commented:

"This case raises serious questions about the Spanish state's attitude towards the independence movement.

"We must all be extremely concerned about the erosion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy in the Spanish state, indeed this should be of concern to the whole of Europe.

"I hope that this matter will be looked into by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The facts need to be clarified, with the consequences that come from that."