Prosecutors deny exerting influence over High Court cases involving US

Embassy influence in sensitive cases revealed by Wikileaks cables

The fallout from the Wikileaks documents concerning Spain continued apace yesterday through all sections of Spanish society.

After the leaked memos issued by the ambassador to Spain between 2005 and 2008, Eduardo Aguirre, revealed he had personally attempted to intervene in High Court cases probing US rendition flights to and from Guantánamo, the torture of inmates at the infamous detention center and the death of Spanish journalist José Couso, lawyers named in the documents vehemently denied bowing to US influence.

"Our position is one of legality and in no instance have American interests been expressed before the Spanish judicial authorities," prosecutor Vicente González Mota said on the steps of the High Court. His colleague Javier Zaragoza termed the idea that the US Embassy "marks the agenda" of his office as "utterly false." He stated that the High Court kept US officials abreast of cases that concerned them and that any documents made available were "public." Zaragoza said the Attorney General's Office called for the arrest of suspects linked to CIA rendition flights, "something that, logically, was not dictated by the US Embassy."

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Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reveal US views about Spain
How US worked to get three soldiers off the hook for cameraman's death

The family of Couso, a Telecinco cameraman killed by US forces in the battle for Baghdad, spoke yesterday of its shock at the revelation that the US Embassy lobbied the High Court to sweep the case under the carpet. "It's like something from a banana republic," Javier Couso, the journalist's brother, told El PAÍS of the accusation that there was collusion between Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido and Aguirre to shelve the case. "It is an affront to national sovereignty that a government could connive to cover up crimes against a Spanish citizen."

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