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Congress rejects call for investigation into ‘police errors’ in terror attacks

No support for Cs initiative for commission to resolve “doubts” over handling of tragic events in Barcelona and Cambrils

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14 February 2018 01:04 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Spain’s Congress on Tuesday rejected an initiative from the Ciudadanos party (Cs) for a commission to investigate alleged policing errors relating to the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17. The party led by Albert Rivera alleges there are “doubts” about “warnings that US intelligence sent to the Catalan government.” The party also argues that the public should be told if the “independence process in Catalonia negatively affected the coordination between police forces and the handling of the anti-terror effort.”

However, a range of parties in Congress roundly rejected the initiative, including Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP), the socialists and Catalan and Basque nationalist parties, although the left-wing party Podemos abstained. The parties in the chamber accused Ciudadanos of “attention-seeking” and of using “demagoguery” and “simplistic” arguments for electioneering purposes, and of “not thinking of the victims.”

In support of the initiative, a Ciudadanos spokesman argued that all of the terror attacks that have taken place in Europe and the United States have been followed by a parliamentary investigation. “Can it be that the dead of Barcelona are any less dead,” asked the spokesman. Yet a PP representative accused Ciudadanos of looking “to take advantage of the political circumstances in Catalonia.”

Meanwhile, the Catalan pro-independence parties, PDeCAT and ERC, also rejected the need for such an investigation, and they came out in defence of the Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, for their handling of the attacks that left 15 people dead and at least 130 injured. The ERC member also called for the Mossos to be fully integrated into the European law enforcement agency, Europol.

Ciutadans' proposal included an investigation over the relationship between the Spanish secret services and the alleged mastermind of Barcelona terror attacks, Abdelbaki Es Satty. Yet Esquerra said that the unionist party rejects to go more in depth on the issue. "It has not been clarified since when, until when and for how much Es Satty collaborated with them," said ERC's Gabriel Rufián.

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