The Table of Congress, with the votes of the PSOE, the PP and Vox, has rejected this Tuesday the admission for processing of the proposal of seven parties with parliamentary representation to create an investigation commission on the role of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) in the attacks of August 17, 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils.
According to the criteria of the lawyers and the precedents (a similar initiative was already vetoed years ago), the governing body of the Chamber has rejected the initiative recalling that the parliamentary control of the activities of the CNI, in accordance with the law, is exercised behind closed doors in a specific commission, since it deals with matters classified as secret.
On January 12, Junts, ERC, CUP, Bildu, PdeCat, BNG and Més Mallorca registered the initiative in which they asked to open an investigation commission after the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo declared in court that he is being judged for three separate pieces of ‘Tándem’ that the attacks in Catalonia were the result of “a serious error” of the director of the CNI at that time, General Félix Sanz Roldán.
Although Villarejo later qualified his words, the proponents maintained their initiative for the Lower House to investigate the relationship of the imam of Ripoll and mastermind of the attacks, Abdelbaki Es Satty, with the CNI, as well as his compensation –if any— , duration and final purpose of said relationship, and that the correlation of failures in the chain of communication and coordination between the police forces in relation to the Ripoll imam be clarified.
In addition, they also wanted to analyze the actions of the Interior and the control measures applied to Es Satty knowing that he was related to jihadist movements; clarify the implication, participation or omission of the CNI with the attacks; propose the appropriate measures of prevention and control of the informers of the Police; and to establish which were the political responsibilities and of any other nature in the attacks.
The appearances of Sánchez and Marlaska were rejected
In addition, Villarejo’s revelations in court led ERC and Junts to also request the appearance of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska; and the aforementioned former head of the Spanish secret services.
However, the representatives of the PSOE, the PP and Vox at the Congress Table have knocked down both the investigation commission and the requests for explanations registered on this matter alleging that it is classified information, as confirmed by parliamentary sources to Europa Press. United We Can, for its part, has supported all of them defending the need for transparency.
In February 2018, ERC and the PDeCAT have already asked to create an investigation commission on the work of the CNI in the attacks in Catalonia, but the Table of Congress, then chaired by the ‘popular’ Ana Pastor, vetoed the initiative alleging that this issue is a matter of national security that must be resolved in the Commission of Reserved Expenses, charged by law with controlling the activities of the CNI.
Sanz Roldán appeared in March 2018
Days after that veto, the aforementioned commission, which must also receive periodic reports on the use of reserved funds by the Government, received a visit from the then director of the DNI to explain precisely the links between the Spanish secret services and the imam of Ripoll . It was Sanz Roldan himself who asked to appear ‘motu proprio’.
However, also known colloquially as congressional official secrets commission It has not been constituted for almost three years due to cross vetoes between parties on who should or should not be represented in it. During all this time, the Chamber is not exercising parliamentary control of the CNI or of the reserved funds managed by the Ministries of the Interior, Defense and Foreign Affairs.
In July 2019, Public reported exclusively, in several articles signed by Carlos Enrique Bayo, about the Links between the Ripoll magnet and the CNI. The main mastermind of the 17-A attacks was an informer for the secret services until the very day of the attack, according to intelligence sources, confidential documents and data extracted from the investigations into the terrorist attacks compiled by Public. According to Bayo’s investigation, the CNI signed Es Satty in 2014 in exchange for not being deported and helped him become an imam in Ripoll.