The president of the Government of La Rioja, the socialist Concha Andreu, had a direct and decisive participation in the Gali case, as revealed to the judge by his chief of staff, Eliseo Sastre. It was Andreu personally who gave instructions to reserve a place at the Logroño hospital at leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Gali, seriously ill from Covid. At that time, he had criminal cases open in the National High Court, for alleged crimes of terrorism, murder, torture and genocide, among other crimes.
The Riojan president gave those instructions on the morning of April 16, when the Pedro Sánchez government was finalizing the clandestine operation which ran a couple of days later. He asked that a place be saved, without specifying for whom, only that it was a care for human reasons. And on the afternoon of April 18, Gali was sneaked into Spain through the Zaragoza Air Base and transferred to Logroño, in whose public hospital he was admitted with a false identity.
The data disclosed by Sastre indicate that Concha Andreu had a fundamental political and logistical intervention in that clandestine operation. It was she who personally arranged, in advance, that the hospital in Logroño had planned the bed that Gali ended up occupying. This has been indicated to ABC, at the end of Sastre’s statement, sources of this criminal process. They have explained that the cabinet director of Concha Andreu has explained that he received the order from the president and that he transferred it to the manager of the public hospital in Logroño, Alberto Lafuente Jimenez, who in turn gave the instruction to the head of intensive care, Fernando Martinez Soba. The manager also arranged the ambulance that transferred Gali from Zaragoza to Logroño, also paid for by the Riojan Health Department.
Eliseo Sastre, Alberto Lafuente and Martínez Soba testified yesterday as witnesses before the Zaragoza judge Rafael Lasala, who is investigating that furtive entry of Gali into Spain for having appreciated in her indications of the crime of prevarication, falsehood and concealment. The three indicated that they did not know that the patient who was admitted was the leader of the Polisario Front, which they found out days later from the media. And Sastre assures that he was told at all times that this reception was going to be carried out for “humanitarian reasons”, the same argument that the Sánchez Government and the accused have been insisting on for months to try to avoid responsibility for what happened.
So far they are accused in the Gali case the ex-minister Arancha González Laya and the one who was his chief of staff, the diplomat Camilo Villarino.
Operation designed by the Government
The Government of Sánchez carefully chose the scenarios and the participants of the device, links of trust so that it did not transcend Gali’s covert entry and hospitalization. Hence, a military airport was chosen, on a Sunday afternoon and without passing passport controls. Once on Spanish soil, the Government of Sánchez preferred that the hospitalization of the Polisario leader be done in La Rioja, governed by the Sanchista Concha Adnreu, instead of in Zaragoza, in a hospital controlled by the Aragonese Executive of the less related Javier Lambán .
Although the participation of the Riojan government was known since Gali’s presence transcended, days after his hospitalization, this is the first time that the court has openly indicated that it was the regional president who personally activated the device, following indications received from Madrid .
After these revelations by Eliseo Sastre, it remains to be seen what the judge decides and what steps the popular accusations take. Keep in mind that Concha Andreu is measured, so Lasala could only call her to testify as a witness. If it were imputed, the jurisdiction would pass to the Superior Court of Justice of La Rioja. In any case, the popular accuser Antonio Urdiales has advanced that he does not see criminal evidence in the performance of Concha Andreu, although he does not rule out that her statement as a witness may be requested to reveal who or who called her from the Sánchez Government.
The unknown of the hospital registry
On the other hand, it now remains to be clarified who registered Gali in the hospital in Logroño with a false passport, in the name of a certain Mohamed Benbatouche, “retired ambassador”. Yesterday a worker from the hospital in Logroño was called to testify, but it was found that she was not the person in charge of the admissions administrative service. Therefore, now it is time to identify who registered Gali, to clarify who provided that false passport, among other details.