1. Let's go. National High Court in Madrid DOES NOT jail leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, on remand. Passport NOT withdrawn, NOT prohibited from leaving Spain, does NOT need to wear electronic tag. He testified by video link from Logroño hospital.
2. The decision not to jail Ghali on remand comes in two rulings from the National High Court, for two sets of pretrial proceedings and two separate requests for remand measures. Judge Pedraz's reasoning is the same in both documents.
3. Some of the parties had requested Ghali be jailed on remand and others that his passport be withdrawn, that he be banned from leaving mainland Spain and that he be ordered to wear an electronic tag.
4. Judge Pedraz reviews the reasons for ordering jail or other remand measures: to prevent escape, to prevent the concealment or destruction of evidence, to prevent the accused from acting against the victim's property, or to prevent him from committing another crime.
5. “No risk of escape can be observed”, concludes the judge. Ghali showed up for court, while at the same time being ill in a hospital. Nor is there any risk of him destroying evidence, “let alone that he might act against the legal property of any victim”.
6. In first ruling, judge says the accusing party “has not provided any evidence to support the existence of sufficient grounds to believe him responsible for any crime”. “Not documented” that he was admitted to a Logroño hospital in “extravagant” manner with false documentation.
7. In the second remand ruling, Pedraz does not see anything relevant to order remand measures for Ghali either: “The witness statements in the case have no corroborating evidence and they do not outline the participation of the suspect in the facts".
8. While the National High Court decided on Ghali's remand, an Algerian military aircraft left for Spain this morning. Larioja.com reports it was flying to Logroño. It turned back when it was over the Balearic Islands.
9. Montero (government spokeswoman): “We insist it is not permissible for the Moroccan government to challenge the border and territorial integrity due to discrepancies in that foreign policy”. Spain “wants and desires” good relations with Morocco.
10. Asked about the Algerian plane at the press conference, Montero said she didn't know anything about “a flight coming from any country like you say”. “I don't know about any action carried out by the Foreign Office, I don't know anything about that either”.
11. Yesterday, Morocco published two statements on the situation with Spain. A more extensive one first and a second one in direct response to Pedro Sánchez's comments. Let's look at the first one first...
12. First Moroccan statement has four parts: 1) Ghali and the National High Court, 2) that is not the root of the problem with Spain, (careful with Catalan separtists), 3) Moroccan solidarity with Spain and 4) the Spanish people are not their politicians.
13. Ghali's appearance before Judge Pedraz at the National High Court, says the first Moroccan statement, is proof that the Polisario Front leader had been welcomed in Spain “knowingly” by the government “in a fradulent and hidden manner”.
14. The court appearance shows “the real face” of the Polisario Front, says Morocco, and Ghali, who “rapes, tortures, ridicules human rights”. Statement recognises “a first recognition” by Spanish courts, “the first time” he has called to testify.
15. We are currently unaware of the Moroccan reaction to Judge Pedraz's ruling at the National High Court this morning, which found that the accusers had “not even provided evidence to support the existence of sufficient grounds for believing him responsible for any crime”.
16. But Ghali is not the heart of the problem, Morocco now says. What is, then? The “Spain's hostile hidden agenda” towards Western Sahara, “a sacred cause for the whole of the Moroccan people”. “It's a matter of broken trust between partners”, the statement says.
17. The crisis does not begin with Ghali's arrival in Spain, nor will it be resolved when he leaves, says the neighbouring country. Moroccan-Spanish cooperation is “being tested” (in the third section, they highlight what they think is important in that relationship).
19. And look at this phrase in yesterday's statement: Spain is “in collusion with the adversaries of the Kingdom to carry out aggressions on Morocco's territorial integrity”.
Trust is broken: “How can we know Spain will not plot again with the enemies of the Kingdom?”
20. After these reflections on leaders of movements who work against the territorial integrity of the adjacent Kingdom, Morocco brings up the subject of...Catalan separatists: “You cannot fight separtism at home and encourage it in your neighbor's home”.
21. Morocco “has never instrumentalised separtism” for that very reason, says the statement. Rabat did not choose “neutrality” during the Catalan separatist crisis in 2017: they came out, “clearly and strongly”, in favor of the territorial integrity of Spain.
22. And then comes the following rhetorical question in the midst of the current diplomatic crisis: “What would have been Spain's reaction if a Spanish separatist figure had been welcomed into the heart of the Moroccan Royal Palace? [...] publicly and officially”.
23. Is such a rhetorical question in the middle of an official statement in the midst of a first class diplomatic crisis equivalent to a kind of warning of what awaits Spain if it doesn't give in to Morocco?
24. Rabat thus equates the question of Catalonia with the question of Western Sahara. They say that in 2012, they did not welcome separatists at the highest level in Rabat and in 2017 a meeting with “a great leader of Catalan separatism” was rejected.
25. Puigdemont's last tweet on the subject was on May 19, when he spoke of “Spanish nationalist inflammation”, referred to the “colonial past” and Ceuta by its Arabic name, “Sebta”, and called for negotiations between Spain and Morocco.
26. In the third section yesterday, Morocco highlight “cyclical migratory crises”, Spanish fishing in Moroccan waters after the sinking of the Prestige, the opening of the neighbouring country during the previous economic crisis and the defense of national sovereignty in 2017.
27. Rabat says 14,000 irregular migration attempts have been aborted since 2017, 82 terrorist attacks stopped by the joint fight against terrorism and “about twenty” major problems with drug trafficking handled.
28. In the last section yesterday, Morocco emphasises that Spaniards are not “certain political, governmental, media and civil society groups” who see Morocco “with an anachronistic perspective”. Rabat “has no problem with the Spanish people”.
29. After that first Moroccan statement, Sánchez spoke: Spain's relationship with Morocco is “strategic”, he repeated, but it seemed to him “absolutely unacceptable” to push “more than 10,000 Moroccans in 48 hours” against the Spanish border in Ceuta.
31. Morocco replied to Sanchez in a SECOND statement yesterday. The Prime Minister's words “give rise to great surprise” in Rabat, which says they did not mention “the migration issue”, except “briefly” in the first statement.
32. “It is therefore legitimate to ask whether the Prime Minister of the Spanish Government has read the different statements inherent to this crisis and specifically the one from today”, says Morocco.
33. “Morocco has repeatedly stressed that the bilateral crisis is not linked to the migration issue”, says the second statement. “Evoking migration should not be a pretext for diverting attention away from the real causes of the bilateral crisis”.
34. Abascal (Vox): Africans and Muslims should not come to Spain, “unable to adapt to living among us”, “a regulated worldview, which is also political in the case of Islam [...] that is absolutely incompatible with our way of living”. Via @vox_es
36. ABC says in its editorial that Morocco toughened its tone yesterday with those statements: “And unfortunately we well know how Rabat works with its threats: it ends up turning each one of them into reality”.
37. NEW statement from Morocco, the THIRD now in two days, in the name of King Mohamed VI himself. He wants the question of unaccompanied Moroccan children in “certain European countries” where bureaucracy is slow to be resolved.
38. "The slowness found in the implementation of this cooperation is essentially due to blockages due to complex procedures in certain European countries". Morocco says it is ready to “fix this issue” and that Spain should expedite the solution.
39. Morocco “once again regrets that the migration issue, including the issue of unaccompanied minors, serves as an alibi to evade the real causes of the current political crisis with Spain, whose origins and foundations are well known”.
40. “The Moroccan authorities reserve the right to respond adequately to the Spanish government's baseless accusations at the right time”, ënds the third Moroccan statment in two days. What do they mean by that?
45. Ghali left Spain in the early hours of this morning. Arrived in Algeria. Less than 24 hours have passed since Judge Pedraz said in his ruling that there was no flight risk at all. What will Morocco's reaction be now? Crisis over or did it just get worse?
Published: Jun 02, 2021, 9:27 am
45. Ghali left Spain in the early hours of this morning, for Algeria. Less than 24 hours have passed since Judge Pedraz said in his ruling that there was no flight risk at all. What will Morocco's reaction be now? Crisis over or did it just get worse?