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The photos causing a scandal

Wiretaps reveal contact between Galician premier and mafia boss after 1997 split

Judge's account contradicts Alberto Núñez Feijóo's own version of events

Ever since the relationship between Galicia regional premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo and convicted drug smuggler Marcial Dorado came to light in photographs published by EL PAÍS, the politician has maintained that he knew nothing of his holiday companion's activities. Feijóo said that once he learned, in 1997, that he was embroiled in a judicial tangle, he broke off contact immediately.

However, the judge who sentenced Dorado to 14 years for trafficking in 2003 has told this newspaper that during his investigations, which began in 2001, he tapped Dorado's telephone and recorded conversations between the politician and the smuggler.

Although the judge insisted that the conversations contained nothing incriminating, this account contradicts Feijóo's own version of events. The Popular Party premier said the last time he spoke to Dorado was at the funeral of a mutual friend in 1999. Feijóo said on Wednesday that "the judge who sent Marcial Dorado to prison has spoken clearly" and with that "the infamy has ended."

In declarations to the press in Vigo, Feijóo said that since the photographs were published he had tried to "explain the truth of the situation, with as much sincerity and transparency as possible. The judge has settled that what I said is true."

Feijóo is due to appear in the regional assembly next Wednesday. "Galicia deserves the truth," he said.

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