Two agents of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) have been arrested in recent days for an alleged crime of revealing secrets, sources familiar with the case have confirmed to EL PAÍS. According to El Confidencial, an investigating judge in Madrid has opened proceedings for the leak of confidential information to the United States. For her part, the Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, confirmed at the Adazi base (Latvia), where she went to visit the Spanish troops, the opening of the legal proceedings and stressed that the complaint before the duty court has been filed by the intelligence service itself. Robles declined to provide further details, saying the case has been declared secret.
Article 584 of the Penal Code punishes with prison sentences of 6 to 12 years any "Spaniard who, with the purpose of favoring a foreign power, association or international organization, procures, falsifies, renders useless or discloses information classified as reserved or secret, likely to harm national security or national defense."
This is not the first time that the Spanish secret service has denounced one of its agents for treason. In 2007, the CNI denounced former spy Roberto Flórez, who had worked for the centre between 1997 and 2004, after classified documents were found in a shop and two apartments in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife). A letter addressed to the Russian secret services in which he offered to work for them in exchange for an initial payment of $200,000 was also seized from him. Although it could not be proven that the handing over of secret documents had been consummated, he was sentenced in 2010 to 12 years in prison.
What makes the current case unique is that the foreign country for which the arrested agents allegedly worked was not a hostile power, but an allied country, the United States, with which the CNI maintains close collaboration. In the past, the Spanish secret services have complained to the CIA that it carried out operations on Spanish soil without informing it beforehand and even that it tried to obtain information from the center by bypassing established channels, but the case had never been taken to court.
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