Defense Minister Margarita Robles has announced that hope casteleiro will be the new director of the National Intelligence Center to replace the dismissed Paz Esteban. Casteleiro, number two of Robles in Defense as Secretary of State, was already secretary general of the CNI as well as head of human resources of the agency, head of its intelligence unit against terrorism and organized crime and director of the minister's cabinet.
ERC sees "logical" the dismissal of the director of the CNI while PP and Vox consider it an attack on the State
Margarita Robles made the announcement at the press conference after the Council of Ministers: “The leadership of the CNI is going to be a woman from the CNI. Esperanza Casteleiro Llamazares. Four years secretary general of the CNI. She, like those 3,000 men and women, is the CNI, a woman who works for a Spain that is an international point of reference", said Robles, who spoke of "replacement" and not "removal".
Regarding the President of the Government, Robles affirms that "I have the full confidence of the President, I have been working with him for many years, he is someone I admire and respect and no one is going to take that away from me." He has assured the Minister of Defense that, in politics, “we put our heart into it and we have to be close to the citizens. I have always found the support of the president and I will continue to find it by being close to those who suffer the most and to the officials of this country.”
It has also endorsed espionage by the CNI, with prior judicial authorization, on independence leaders such as Pere Aragones: "I don't know if they saw the judicial authorizations but they were absolutely motivated", Esteban said about the appearance in the Peace Congress in the secret commission. The law forces the CNI to request permission to a judge of the Supreme Court to be able to tap telephones, justifying the reasons and the period of time for which he intends to do so.
The Council of Ministers has decided and signed this Tuesday the dismissal of Paz Esteban as director of the CNI in the midst of the crisis due to the scandal pegasus: spying on both members of the Government and prominent leaders of the independence movement with this software developed and marketed by an Israeli company. The National Court investigate espionage Pedro Sánchez and Margarita Robles in the midst of the migratory crisis with Morocco in 2021, while Esteban herself acknowledged in Congress that the CNI, with prior judicial authorization, spied on various Catalan independence leaders.