Thursday, April 12, 2007

Díaz De Mera Tries To Save His Skin

Agustín Díaz de Mera, the director general of the police at the time of the Madrid bombings, got himself into potentially serious problems when he testified a couple of weeks ago on allegations he had made about a report allegedly linking ETA to the bombings. He was fined for contempt of court and facing the threat of a possible jail sentence for failing to provide his source for the allegations he made in court.

It now appears that on the evening of the court session where he testified, Díaz de Mera was already on the telephone hunting for someone who he could name to escape any further judicial consequences concerning his allegations. Having failed to find anyone prepared to voluntarily accept being named as his source, he sent a letter to the court last week in which he provided the names of 4 police officers who he claims were involved in some way in the affair. Although the officers were not directly named in published versions, it did not take the press long to find out who was being referred to, and all officers involved have denied ever talking to Diaz de Mera about attempts to hide ETA links to the bombings. The policeman who has now been identified as the source referred to by Díaz de Mera, Enrique Garcia Castaño, has made it clear in a written statement to his superior officers that he received telephone calls from Díaz de Mera after the 28th March pressurizing him to say that he wass the source for the allegations made.

Díaz de Mera claimed that he was naming his source because his loyalty towards him had not been reciprocated. "Loyalty" in this case would presumably have meant a willingness to be identified as the source, regardless of whether it was true or not, so that the contempt charges would not be pressed further. It is a situation completely of Díaz de Mera's own making, and his attempts to make someone else the fall-guy for it are a sign of the ruthlessness and absence of integrity of those determined to maintain the fictional link between ETA and the train bombings. At least with his letter we got an important clarification, it became clear that the report he was referring to had not been hidden at all, there is a report on links between ETA and Islamists included in the judicial indictment; the problem for the conspiracy theorists is that it rejects such links. Díaz de Mera claims in his letter that he had been told that this report had been "manipulated" to remove suggestions of links that existed. Nobody has been able to provide a scrap of evidence to back up this claim, and the prosecution in the trial has requested that the 4 officers identified by Díaz de Mera be called to testify. If they do, it will be an interesting session, the former police chief may have his immunity from the European Parliament to protect him but he is not out of trouble yet. Looking at the issue from the outside, it is hard not to feel a certain amount of fear when you consider that this was the person in charge of the Spanish police at the time of the bombings.

International Herald Tribune - Spanish ruling party accuses ex-police chief of lying at Madrid terror trial
AOL News - Ex-police chief lying in Madrid bombing trial-minister

20 Minutos - La fuente que relacionaba ETA y 11-M, según Díaz de Mera, niega este vínculo
El País - La supuesta fuente policial de Díaz de Mera niega que le alertara de la vinculación entre ETA y el 11-M

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