Belgium Probes Claims Spain Spied on Ex Catalan Leader Puigdemont

Belgium Probes Claims Spain Spied on Ex Catalan Leader Puigdemont

Authorities in Belgium are looking into claims that Spanish intelligence services spied on former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont while he was in the country without informing them.

Authorities in Belgium are looking into claims that Spanish intelligence services spied on former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont while he was in the country without informing them.

Comité R, which oversees intelligence services in Belgium, commenced an investigation following a request by Peter Buysrogge, of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), Belgian daily De Tijd reported.

Buysrogge said: “I want to know whether an intervention of the Spanish intelligence or security services has taken place on our territory and if so, did it happen with the knowledge of Belgian federal security services?”

He also asked Comité R to look into allegations that Spanish authorities deployed secret agents on Belgian soil and fitted a GPS transmitter to Puigdemont’s car.

The N-VA party, which has previously expressed support for the break-up of Belgium and backs the Catalonian separatists, claims the unseated Catalan leader could seek asylum in Belgium.

Puigdemont escaped there after the Catalonian independence vote was deemed unconstitutional by the Madrid government and he now faces criminal charges in Spain of rebellion and misuse of public funds. He is currently in Germany where the Government is considering an extradition request from Spain.

Spain’s separatist woes deepened last week after thousands of Basques staged demonstrations calling for the region in the north of the country to be given great autonomy.

Huge crowds formed a human chain which organisers say stretched for 202 km, linking the Basque cities of San Sebastian and Bilbao with Vitoria.

The Basque region has more self-government than Catalonia but backing for full independence had waned in recent years.

There is an increasing groundswell of opinion that believes the Basque people should at least be given the right to vote over their future links to Spain.

(Banner image: Flickr

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