Spain arrests former intelligence officer for spying

24th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 July 2007 , MADRID - Spain has arrested an ex-intelligence officer on charges he acted as a double-agent, selling other agents' secret identities and counterintelligence data to a foreign government, the country's spy chief said on Tuesday.

24 July 2007

MADRID - Spain has arrested an ex-intelligence officer on charges he acted as a double-agent, selling other agents' secret identities and counterintelligence data to a foreign government, the country's spy chief said on Tuesday.

The intelligence chief, Alberto Saiz, did not identify the country doing the buying, but Cadena Ser radio said it was Russia. He said the alleged espionage occurred between the end of 2001 and early 2004.

Saiz identified the former Spanish agent as Roberto Florez Garcia and said he was arrested Monday on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands.

Saiz, head of Spain’s National Intelligence Centre, called the case unprecedented for the Spanish intelligence services. Even his news conference announcing the case was unprecedented, as Saiz has previously remained behind the scenes.

Florez Garcia had been a mid-level officer in the Civil Guard, a paramilitary police force that answers to the Interior Ministry but also has intelligence units involved in such tasks as fighting Basque separatist violence and Islamic terrorism.

Florez Garcia quit the Civil Guard in March 2004.

Saiz said Florez Garcia sold classified information including the identities of agents and data on Spanish intelligence procedures, internal structures and counterintelligence activities.

He said that neither the national security of Spain nor that of NATO or the European Union had been compromised, adding that Florez Garcia had been under investigation since July 2005.

(Copyright AP with Expatica)

Subject: Spanish News

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