Interior minister caught out in lie over sacking of top police officer

A leaked document marked “top secret” published today in El Confidencial gives the lie to the claim that the firing of a top Guardia Civil officer overseeing an investigation into senior politicians was for any other reason.

Minister of the Interior Marlaska claimed last week that he ordered the firing of Colonel Diego Perez de los Cobos for simple personnel reasons, and that it had nothing to do with the fact that the Colonel hadn’t informed him of the political corruption investigation, which had been ordered by a senior Judge in Madrid.

But a leaked document marked “secret” and dated before the firing gives the official reason as being for not informing and keeping abreast of the development of the investigation. The letter is signed by Maria Gámaz, director-general of the Guardia Civil and an ex-magistrate.

El Confidencial notes that the document not only catches Marlaska out in an untruth, but potentials shows that the copper was fired for illegal reasons – The Guardia Civil and Judicial Police are no longer obliged to inform their political masters of all investigations. It’s a fundamental part of the separation of powers.

Asked about the matter in Parliament this evening, Marlaska mounted a stern defence of his decisions and again said he would not resign over the matter.

But the second largest association of Judges in Spain, the Francisco de Vitoria judicial association (AJFV) has in the last few hours sent out a press release saying that if the document is genuine Marlaska must resign at once and face a judicial investigation into the matter.

“It is unacceptable in a democratic state for a high minister of state to take reprisals against a police officer for not revealing secret information about the case”.

The demand is especially harsh for Marlaska as he used to be a senior Judge with more than 30 years of service, and to have his ex-colleagues take up arms against him in this fashion simply shows how twisted he has become in his pursuit of power.

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