13 December 2007
MADRID – A Spanish spy arrested in July accused of selling state secrets to Russia compromised Spain’s national security, judges investigating the case have revealed. The judges’ view clashes with Spanish intelligence chief Alberto Saiz’s efforts to downplay the worst intelligence leak in the country’s recent history.
Civil Guard corporal Roberto Flórez was arrested on the Canary island of Tenerife on 24 July, accused of passing on information about agents, procedures and the internal structure of Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) to Russian operatives between 2001 and 2004. Flórez, who apparently received EUR 200,000 for the information, has been charged with treason and faces up to 12 years in prison.
Though government and intelligence officials had initially sought to downplay the consequences of having a mole in their midst, new evidence suggests that the leaked information may have been much more significant that originally disclosed. In a report written by judges from the Madrid court obtained by EL PAÍS, investigators state that Flórez’s actions "severely compromised state security." Their finding is based in part on the "abundant documentation" uncovered during a search of his Tenerife apartment.
Speaking after Flórez’s arrest, Saiz admitted that the leaked information was "sensitive" but argued that "national security has not been put at risk."
Flórez, who was assigned to CNI headquarters in 1992, started being investigated in 2005 after he was asked to resign for insubordination and violating security procedures.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ 2007]
Subject: Spanish news