A case now focused on the falsity of the passport used by the head of the Polisario Front

El Fórum Canario Saharaui califica de frivolidad judicial el posible traslado de la causa contra Ghali de Zaragoza a Logroño

PHOTO/REUTERS - Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali

In relation to the news published yesterday by different media, in which it was stated that the Public Prosecutor's Office of Zaragoza was trying to avoid the case against Brahim Ghali, now focused on the falsity of the passport that led the leader of the Polisario Front to enter the San Pedro Logroño Hospital fraudulently, this Forum declares the following: 

That we reject this attempt of inhibition by the Provincial Prosecutor of Zaragoza through the representative of his ministry, Juan Pablo Fraj, in favour of the courts of Logroño, in a letter sent yesterday to the head of the Court of Instruction Number 7 of Zaragoza, Rafael Lasala, who is leading the case in relation to the illegal entry of Ghali in Spain. The said prosecutor now says that the Zaragoza Court is not competent "to know about the falsehood committed in Logroño". The Forum condemns what clearly appears to be a judicial frivolity on the part of the Public Prosecutor's Office. 

In this sense, we once again support the position of the private prosecution, through its lawyer Antonio Urdiales, who categorically refuses this request, as he states that "the falsification of the passport is a crime related to prevarication, a fact that has already led the Logroño Court to its inhibition in June 2021 in favour of the judge Rafael Lasala, of Zaragoza, considering that he should maintain his jurisdiction". 

It is suspicious, to say the least, that this request from the prosecutor appears just when the six-month extension of the investigation requested by Judge Rafael Lasala is about to end, where there could be a provisional dismissal, but if new evidence appears that would make it advisable to lift the dismissal, the case would have to return to Zaragoza. In this sense, we ask ourselves the same question as lawyer Urdiales, why such an 'unusual' interest in diverting the case to Logroño? Not in vain, if there was a response from Algeria to the rogatory commission presented and new evidence appeared, this could be outside the deadline. 

In fact, it was the prosecutor himself who requested this investigation, which indicates contradictions. Contradictions that come from a prosecutor who, on the other hand, was one of the intellectual authors of the case against the ex-minister González Laya in the Ghali case, with arguments as lazy as the fact that Ghali "did not appear in the Interpol database or in any Spanish judicial body as a person wanted for the commission of criminal acts". This is completely untrue, since it is common knowledge that at the time he had two cases pending before the Audiencia Nacional. 

In this regard, we would like to recall and highlight, given the media blackout on this issue, that one of these cases is still open, in which Ghali is accused of crimes of illegal detention, torture and crimes against humanity committed in 2019 in the Tindouf camps. Not only that, just a few days ago, Judge Pedraz took a statement from Abba Bouzeid, a witness to the torture that the Sahrawi activist Fadel Breica allegedly suffered at the hands of the Polisario Front. 

For 90 minutes, the judge heard from Bouzeid's mouth the details of the kidnapping, torture and arbitrary detention to which he was subjected along with Fadel Breica, in the detention centres of Al-Rashid and Al-Dhiba, usually used by the Polisario for these purposes in the Tindouf camps (Algeria). In his statement, Bouzeid confirmed the torture of Fadel Breica. Concerning Ghali, he said that he saw him in prison the day he heard Breica's screams. The Audiencia Nacional has already rejected on several occasions the attempts of Brahim Ghali's defence to close this case, in which there are also other defendants, such as Bachir Mustafa Sayed, Polisario's number two, or Mustafa Mohamed Ali Sid el Bachir, who was Minister of the Interior. 


Finally, we should not forget that during October we have witnessed numerous events at both national and international level that have exposed Ghali and his leadership. We have witnessed internal denunciations and reproaches from the Polisario youth to its leaders, in its official media no less, something unprecedented and which, according to our information, could have led to reprisals. Although the most relevant thing has been to witness the official recognition by the Polisario, in the mouth of Brahim Ghali himself, of human rights violations against its own dissident population for the first time in almost half a century of existence, something that the usual defenders of the Polisario in Spain have curiously omitted in their information. And, of course, these judicial cases referred to above which, contrary to what is claimed, continue with their procedural course (Madrid, Zaragoza and Logroño). 

We must also highlight the slap in the face for the Polisario that the content of the recent resolution 2654 of the United Nations Security Council has meant for the Polisario. In addition to reaffirming the position of the Security Council since 2007, and through it of the international community, that the solution to this regional conflict must be political, realistic, pragmatic, sustainable and based on compromise, the resolution also denounced the Polisario's bad practices in basic issues that also affect elementary rights.  These reproaches are directly related to the UN Security Council's request to humanitarian organisations to ensure that "the delivery of humanitarian aid is carried out in accordance with UN good practice", due to the regular and repeated diversion of such aid for personal gain with the connivance of the Polisario. A diversion confirmed in several reports of the High Commissioner for Refugees, of the anti-fraud office of the European Union (OLAF), and which we have been denouncing for years. 

On the other hand, the resolution also calls for every effort to be made to register the populations or census of the Tindouf camps through the High Commissioner for Refugees. A request insistently refused by Algeria and the Polisario for more than 25 years. A refusal to census the population which aims to hide the real population, whose current data are estimates and are "inflated" by the Polisario, because the diverted humanitarian aid referred to by the Security Council is granted on the basis of population data. The more population, the more aid; the more aid, the more diversion and thus the more corruption. 

We are pleased that our denunciations have not fallen on deaf ears and that the UN has finally taken up such a sensitive and important issue.