MEP Diana Riba denounces political espionage on the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament before the European Commission

The Member of the European Parliament Diana Riba today submitted a written question to the European Commission to denounce the political espionage by the Spanish State that the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Roger Torrent, the Esquerra Leader on Barcelona City Council Ernest Maragall, and the former Member of the Catalan Parliament for the CUP party Anna Gabriel have been victims of, amongst others.

In the written question submitted today to the European Executive with the support of some fifteen MEPs from various parliamentary groups, including 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 MEPs recall that the intrusion in communications is forbidden by the ePrivacy Directive and calls on the executive to investigate who is behind this flagrant violation of European law and the most basic democratic principles, given that the Pegasus spyware involved can only be used by governments.

According to information published today by newspapers The Guardian and El País, all three were spied on last year using a system that intrudes on mobile phones, and can only be acquired by governments and security forces. The spyware used to access their mobile phones is developed by the Israeli NSO Group and is intended—in principle—to pursue terrorists and criminals. This spyware program lets the intruder listen in on conversations, read messages, access hard drives, take screenshots, review browsing histories, and remotely activate the camera and microphone of the devices it is embedded in.

Diana Riba affirms that this case “is just one more example of the general cause of the Spanish state against independence” and has warned that the erosion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy in Spain is an issue that should concern the whole of Europe.” The Esquerra MEP has announced that she will take the issue to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). “The facts have to be clarified and someone has to bear the consequences,” Ms Riba concluded.