Editorial, 11 July 2022
Their motion for a resolution for the creation of a commission to study the case was presented as an urgent initiative two months ago.
On 3 May, ERC, Junts, the CUP and En Comú Podem registered, with great fanfare, a motion for a resolution for the creation of a commission of enquiry into the case christened ‘CatalanGate’ by the Canadian technology and human rights laboratory that published it a fortnight earlier. The haste of these political groups to present this resolution has not been followed up. The Parliamentary Bureau admitted it for processing on 10 May, and it has never been heard from again. With the summer holidays just around the corner, it is clear that this committee of enquiry will not begin to function until autumn, and there are indications that it will never do so.
En Comú Podem was dragged into signing the proposed resolution without much conviction, bearing in mind that the intention of the pro-independence groups is to discredit the Spanish government, which includes ministers from Unidas Podemos. The only group that has shown interest in moving the commission of enquiry forward is the CUP. On 28 June, Laia Estrada, a member of the CUP, asked for an explanation for Junts and ERC’s lack of interest in promoting an initiative that they presented with so much media hype. “We don’t understand it and we ask them for explanations, because on the table there are only excuses of bad payers”, denounced Estrada.
The excuses she was referring to are that Junts and ERC claim to justify this paralysis because they cannot agree on who is to chair the commission. An absurd excuse that convinces neither Estrada nor anyone else. The real reason for ERC and Junts’ panic about setting up a commission of enquiry to analyse the report presented by Citizen Lab is that its CatalanGate is riddled with questions, contradictions, mysteries and a lack of scientific rigour. If the commission can work unhindered, it will become clear that CatalanGate is a manoeuvre by pro-independence leaders to seek a way out of the judicial processes affecting a few of them and to undermine support for the Spanish government.
ERC and Junts would be forced to veto the appearance in the commission of Elies Campo, who was presented as the Catalan coordinator of the investigation and was shown on TV3, RAC1, or the ARA, and who is now hiding under rocks after EL TRIANGLE reported that he had lied on his CV, pretending to be a senior manager of Telegram Messenger, a company in which he never worked. In addition, Citizen Lab would have to show evidence of the conclusions of its report – according to which 65 supporters of Catalan independence were spied on with the software Pegasus and Candiru – when it has never wanted to show them until now. Contradictions among those allegedly spied on about how they found out that their mobile phones were infected would also be exposed in the parliamentary sessions of that commission.
The proposed resolution for the creation of a commission of enquiry was justified by its promoters by saying that “since the Congress, with the votes of the PP, PSOE, Vox and Cs, has vetoed the commission of enquiry on espionage, the Parliament of Catalonia cannot remain impassive in the face of the seriousness of the facts, which directly violate fundamental rights. Therefore, we defend the obligation to protect political representatives and citizens, who have also been indirectly spied on and, therefore, have had their right to privacy and secrecy of communications violated, among other rights”.
Investigating this violation of rights is no longer in such a hurry. First, the summer holidays. And then we’ll see.