Spain demands answers after Gibraltar police search house

18th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spain's foreign ministry on Saturday slammed as "unacceptable" two Gibraltar policemen entering a southern Spanish city to investigate a crime and demanded an explanation from Britain.

The Spanish foreign ministry said it had contacted the British ambassador in Spain and the authorities in Gibraltar to express its "deep displeasure and the categorical rejection of the Spanish government of these unacceptable facts" and demanded and explanation.

"The Spanish government hopes that events like these will not be reproduced and that it can maintain a good climate of judicial and police cooperation with Britain in Gibraltar," the foreign ministry added in a statement.

The Spanish newspaper ABC revealed Saturday that on August 4 a Gibraltar man and British man had broken into a jewellery shop in Gibraltar, before escaping on a motorcycle.

They were arrested by the Gibraltar police the next day, who also found in their possession, keys to a house in San Roque, near the Spanish city of Cadiz. The policemen then drove to San Roque to search the house, but the female companion of one of the men refused to allow them in and complained to Spanish authorities.

According to ABC, the Gibraltar police returned the next day and managed to search the house, where they found various items.

The incident sparked the fury of Spain, which was forced to cede Gibraltar to Britain under the Utrecht treaty in 1713, but has made clear its intentions to reclaim it should Britain renounce the tiny peninsula.

The volatile 6.5-square-kilometre (2.6-square-mile) territory is home to roughly 30,000 people.

© 2010 AFP

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