The judge of the National Court Santiago Pedraz has released Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front and president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in exile, without precautionary measures, after his statement as a defendant in the two complaints filed against him by alleged torture against the Sahrawi refugee population in the Tindouf camps (Algeria). Ghali has appeared online from the San Pedro de Logroño Hospital, where he has been admitted since last April 18.
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The magistrate has only agreed to provide an address and telephone number in Spain in order to be located and has refused to decree the provisional prison that the two accusations had requested: that of the Saharawi blogger of Spanish nationality Fadel Mihdi Breica and that of the Saharawi Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADEDH). Both the Prosecutor’s Office and its defense have opposed the adoption of precautionary measures. After this decision, the Saharawi leader will be able to leave Spain.
In both cases, the judge argues that “no risk of flight” can be appreciated, nor can the defendant be able to “hide, alter or destroy sources of evidence relevant to the prosecution, especially in view of the date of the facts investigated and that no evidence has been requested and even less that it can act against the legal rights of any victim ”.
In addition, the judge indicates that the complainants have not provided “even circumstantial” elements that support the existence of “sufficient grounds” to hold Ghali responsible for any crime. Regarding Breica, he says that in his report he simply indicated that they were very serious crimes, that there were indications but “without indicating any” and that he could escape because he entered the hospital in an “extravagant” way due to the documentation provided that claims to be false , which also does not appear, according to the judicial resolution. Regarding the other complainant, ASADEDH, the judge understands that the witness statements that he has provided “do not have corroborative evidence” and that neither can Ghali’s participation in the denounced events be deduced from them.
During the interrogation – in which he has only answered the questions of the Prosecutor’s Office and his defense -, Ghali has affirmed that all the facts that are the subject of the accusation are “absolutely false” and has denied having committed torture, disappearances or any type of conduct. illegal against any Saharawi citizen, as explained by his lawyer, Manuel Ollé, at the end of his statement. Likewise, it has affirmed that these complaints are for “absolutely political” motives to “try to undermine the dignity and credibility of the Saharawi people and their struggle on the road to self-determination.” His defense has announced that it will request the filing of both proceedings and the condemnation of all charges for “bad faith, recklessness and using criminal law for political purposes.
Breica’s lawyer, María José Malagón, has denied that there is any kind of political initiative behind her complaint. “My client is a man who has been horribly tortured and that is why a complaint has been filed that has been admitted and that we are in the investigation,” he explained to the media after the statement of the Saharawi leader.
Although no one has officially admitted it, the presence in Spain of the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in exile is one of the reasons behind the migration crisis that broke out in Ceuta two weeks ago. This Tuesday, his lawyer has not wanted to advance if his intention is to stay in Spain. “He will wait for the judge to decide and at that time he will decide what he considers convenient,” said Ollé, who insisted that the leader of the Polisario Front is still “weak” and that he entered Spain “with his passport” and that in no case did it “hidden”. Breica’s lawyer, for her part, has expressed her fear that the leader of the Polisario Front may leave Spain to evade the action of Justice. After the judge’s decision, the Saharawi leader has absolute freedom of movement.