Police chief accuses Socialists of lying over 11-M
22 July 2004, MADRID- The former head of the Spanish police force accused the Socialists Thursday of "contaminating public opinion and lying" during the days after the Madrid terrorist attacks.
22 July 2004
MADRID- The former head of the Spanish police force accused the Socialists Thursday of "contaminating public opinion and lying" during the days after the Madrid terrorist attacks.
Agustín Díaz de Mera appeared before the inquiry into the events surrounding the 11 March bombings and accused the Socialist PSOE party of "influencing public opinion" on the eve of the general election.
He also claimed that the then conservative Popular Party (PP) government told the truth in the days after the attacks.
The inquiry is trying to establish if the PP tried to influence public opinion by claiming ETA carried out the attacks in an effort to stop an electoral backlash by voters who blamed Spain's support for the Iraq invasion for the attacks which cost the lives of 191 people.
Diaz de Mera, who resigned on 1 May after the new Socialist government had taken power, said the former PP government "acted in a trustworthy and efficient" way.
He was asked about the lorry which was found hours after the attacks at Alcala de Henares, outside Madrid, with detonators and a tape with verses from the Koran.
It is thought the bombers planted the explosives on the trains at Alcala, a station from which all the trains which were attacked left from on the morning of 11 March.
It was claimed earlier that the PP government failed to inform the public that this evidence pointed to an al-Qaeda attack and continued to claim ETA had carried out the attacks.
But Diaz de Mera said: "The PP scrupulously spoke the truth with regard to the truck. It was others who contaminated the public opinion and lied."
He claimed these "lies" influenced public opinion enough to produce the shock Socialist victory of 14 March.
He accused unnamed people of "intoxicating" the PSOE with false information and also said the caretaker at Alcala of lying to the commission.
The caretaker earlier had told the hearing it seemed to him that "Arab-looking" suspects were seen near the lorry, suggesting they could have been Islamic terrorists.
Diaz de Mera said the former government blamed ETA because the then Interior Minister Angel Acebes had been told Titadine was the type of explosive which had been used by a top police officer, Pedro Diaz Pintado.
Titadine is the type favoured by the Basque terrorist group.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news