The State Attorney’s Office assured the Court of Instruction Number 7 of Zaragoza that the ex-chief of staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Camilo Villarino, deleted the emails relating to the entry into Spain of the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, so he will not be able to make them available to the case.
In a letter dated 4 October, to which Europa Press had access, the legal services of the State specify that Villarino while he was in office “maintained the habit of deleting his emails from time to time, for security reasons and to minimise the damage in the event of hacking of the equipment”.
This is the lawyer’s response to the ruling of 24 September by which the investigator Rafael Lasala required Villarino, at the request of one of the accusations, to provide the email or Whatsapp message that contained the copy of Mohamed Benbatouche’s passport -the identity that Ghali used to register at the hospital in Logroño- and which was sent to him by the head of the Office of the Presidency of La Rioja, Eliseo Sánchez.
The diplomat’s defence explained that, although he deleted the emails, he did keep the attached documentation “given the publications in the press about the possible use of a false identity in the Logroño hospital” and insisted that both Brahim Ghali’s Algerian diplomatic passport and his son’s residence permit are already on record in the case.
Within the framework of the brief, the lawyer assured that even if Gonzalez Laya’s former chief of staff had not deleted the emails “he could not reveal the specific people who were his contacts in this matter”.
“It must be borne in mind that this matter is confidential because it affects security and international relations. For this reason, it is not possible to claim to know who the sender of this email or Whatsapp was by requesting this contribution,” said the state lawyer.