Spanish Prime Minister condemns wiretap accusations

7th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister Zapatero interrupted his holiday to respond to opposition party allegations that the government had ordered illegal wiretaps.

Madrid – Spain's prime minister on Friday condemned the main opposition party after it alleged the government had been conducting illegal wiretaps of its party members.

"I would like to appeal to the leaders of the Popular Party to have a sense of responsibility as they know very well that, fortunately, we have a functioning system of justice," Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told a news conference in the Canary Islands, where he is on holiday.

He was responding to PP allegations that the government had ordered illegal wiretaps of some of its members.

"Wiretaps, sometimes illegal, have been carried out which have nothing to do with any (legal) cases," PP secretary general Maria Dolores de Cospedal said on Thursday.

She said the phones of some PP leaders had been tapped, and condemned a "police state" that "persecutes the opposition".

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega later Thursday called on de Cospedal to either present the allegations in court or withdraw them.

A number of PP members have been under investigation since February in connection with a scandal in which bribes were allegedly paid to the regional governments of Madrid and Valencia by businessmen to ensure contracts.

The party's treasurer, Luis Barcenas, who has been questioned by judge in connection with the scandal, announced last month he was stepping down until he was "proven innocent before the courts."

But a court in Valencia on Monday dropped a corruption probe against the head of the Valencia regional government, Francisco Camps, a senior PP member.

The PP has denounced a campaign of "vilification" against it by the interior ministry and the Prisa media group.

AFP / Expatica

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