Operation Catalonia

Jorge Fernández Díaz allegedly led the Operation Catalonia against Pujol

"I will deny, even under torture, that this meeting ever existed," said the then minister to Villarejo, according to recordings published by 'El País'

2 min
Alícia Sánchez-Camacho with Jorge Fernández Díaz

New and compromising revelations about the Operation Catalonia. Former Home Affairs Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz led this operation against the Pujol family, according to newspaper El País based on a recording to which the newspaper and the news website Fuentes Informadas have had access to. The tape, recorded by former police superintendent José Manuel Villarejo, includes a meeting in the Ministry of Home Affairs –then led by Fernández Díaz– in mid-December 2012 in which the two of them and the then head of the police, Eugenio Pino, participated.

The conversation lasts a quarter of an hour and is part of Villarejo's files, but it has not been incorporated into any of the open investigations against him. The three agree to report pro-independence leaders using witness statements by businessman Javier de la Rosa and Victoria Álvarez, exJordi Pujol Ferrussola's ex-wife and interlocutor of the former leader of the PP Alícia Sánchez-Camacho in the infamous La Camarga lunch. In the conversation, Villarejo informs Fernández Díaz that he has spoken to several judges, such as Spanish High Court judge Santiago Pedraz, and that they are "totally predisposed" to accept the complaint against the Pujols. The then minister interrupts Villarejo's speech to remind him that the conversation they are having "has not existed", and that the minister "knows nothing".

At another point in the conversation he states that he will deny that it has existed "even under torture": "I will deny, even under torture, that this meeting ever existed", the then minister says. From there he asks if the case can be taken to the High Court, to which Villarejo answers that, in his opinion, it can. Fernández Díaz then asks if the procedures can be started on that same day, and also shows interest in whether other pro-independence leaders, such as then Catalan president Artur Mas, can also be taken to court. Fernández Díaz reminds the commissioners that they are before a "question of state" that affects "the unity of Spain".

The so-called 'patriotic police' worked at the orders of Mariano Rajoy's government to try to find dirt on their political opponents, leak it to allied media or take them to court. His main victims were Catalan pro-independence supporters, but also Podemos leaders, according to the conclusion of an investigative committee created in the Spanish parliament. Fernández Díaz declared before this committee that he barely crossed paths with Villarejo, "thank God". And he added: "During the almost five years in which I have exercised the responsibility of Minister of the Interior, I have never dealt with Mr. Villarejo". These words are now disproved by these audios which show that Fernández Díaz personally directed a part of the patriotic police patriotic police in the Catalunya operation