In Spanish politics, unrest has arisen about accusations that an informant has been used to spy on the former treasurer of the conservative Partido Popular (PP).
Left-wing Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called the matter “very worrying”.
Authorities this month released a file on the case called “Operation Kitchen”. The informant’s code name was “the cook.”
He is said to have worked as a driver for former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas Gutiérrez, who was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2018 for a significant bribe affair within the PP.
Prosecutors say the informant received $ 2,000 a month. He was also promised a job with the police. In return, he had to find out where Bárcenas and his wife had hidden “compromising documents” about top figures within the PP, according to the file.
According to Spanish media, this espionage was apparently intended to keep sensitive information out of the hands of researchers. Prosecutors are still investigating precisely what role then PP ministers played in the deployment of the undercover officer.
Former Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz says he knew nothing about the operation, but a former employee contradicts that.
The scandal comes at an unfavourable time for the Conservative party, which has lost the last two national elections. Current PP leader Pablo Casado had already stressed that he did not have a prominent role in the party when the alleged espionage took place.