He was summoned to court for 1 June

Brahim Ghali acepta declarar ante la Audiencia Nacional

AP/FATEH GUIDOUM - Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, has reportedly agreed to appear before the Audiencia Nacional.

Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, has accepted to appear before the National Court on 1 June, in principle by telematic means, according to Polisario Front sources consulted by the Europa Press agency.

The media 20 Minutos reported this information, quoting the Europa Press agency, which means that the Polisario leader will appear before the Audiencia Nacional after being summoned by the judge, Santiago Pedraz. 

Ghali will have to answer for a lawsuit filed by a Saharawi activist and another filed by the Saharawi Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADEDH), as reported by the newspaper El Mundo. The ASADEDH and the Fórum Canario Saharaui have been accusing Ghali in recent times of alleged crimes of genocide and torture. 

The judge himself ordered to notify the head of the Polisario Front of the complaint for alleged crimes of genocide and rape and to interrogate him telematically if he is unable to come to court. Santiago Pedraz had decided not to request provisional detention, a measure aimed at preventing an accused person from absconding, but he did order through the courts in Logroño, where Ghali is hospitalised with coronavirus, that he be notified of the complaint for the alleged crimes attributed to him. All this after the police confirmed that it is Brahim Ghali himself who is hospitalised in the city of La Rioja. The examining magistrate asked the chief judge of Logroño to prepare a videoconference in case Ghali is still hospitalised next Tuesday and cannot travel to Madrid, as reported by the newspaper El Mundo. 

The Spanish government agreed to give medical treatment to the Sahrawi leader, despite the controversy surrounding Brahim Ghali and his pending accounts with the justice system, after being accused in the past of various alleged crimes. Precisely, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, referred to the reception of Ghali as a decision related to humanitarian issues, but acknowledged that she would collaborate with the justice system in any process that might be carried out in a possible case against the Polisario Front leader. 

The information on the presence of Brahim Ghali in Spain provoked a strong reaction from Morocco, which, through its Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and its ambassador Karima Benyaich, asked the Spanish government for explanations for harbouring Ghali.

For her part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, has assured that Spain wants to "resolve its differences" with Morocco and to this end carries out "discreet diplomacy", without going into the judicial future of the Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, who will leave Spain "when he is out of danger", according to information from the Europa Press agency.