Polisario Front leader Salem Lebsir admits that Brahim Ghali plans to leave Spain

According to information from OK Diario, Lebsir admitted that the Polisario leader "will leave Spain" and that "they will not go before the judge"
Polisario Front leader, Brahim Ghali

AFP/FAROUK BATICHE  -   Polisario Front leader, Brahim Ghali

Salem Lebsir, number two of the Polisario Front, admitted to OK Diario that Brahim Ghali intends to escape. "He will leave Spain and will not go before the judge", the Polisario official indicated to the Spanish media. 

In an exclusive interview, Lebsir said that the Arab soldier plans to leave Spain in the next few days without testifying in the National Court, despite being accused of alleged crimes of terrorism, genocide and torture, among others. "It's all lies. As soon as he recovers, which will be in 10 days, he will leave the country. He will not appear before the judge", the Polisario leader assured OK Diario. 

This interview took place in a waiting room of the San Pedro hospital in Logroño, just five metres from the room where the Polisario Front leader is recovering from the coronavirus, where he arrived after his entry into Spanish territory with the acceptance of the Spanish government, which gave humanitarian reasons for the reception of Ghali, as reported by several media outlets.

Salem Lebsir, número dos del Frente Polisario
PHOTO/ARCHIVE - Salem Lebsir, number dos of the Polisario Front

This is the first time that someone from Ghali's entourage has spoken to the media after the outbreak of the biggest diplomatic crisis of democracy between Spain and Morocco, provoked by the presence of Brahim Ghali on Spanish territory, in the face of Moroccan protests over the lack of cooperation and information on the matter on the part of the Spanish authorities. 

Santiago Pedraz, head of the Central Court of Instruction number 5 of the Spanish National Court, summoned the maximum leader of the Polisario Front, who is accused by various sectors, including entities such as the Saharawi Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADEDH) and the Saharawi Canary Islands Forum, for alleged crimes of genocide, injuries, illegal detention, terrorism, torture and disappearances, for June 1. Despite this scenario, Lebsir assured OK Diario that Ghali is not going to testify: " Why should he do so? Just because some pro-Moroccan supporters wanted him to?". According to the Spanish media, these actions are only intended to tarnish Ghali's image.

As soon as several agents of the National Police arrived at the hospital to notify Ghali of the summons, the Polisario Front leader refused to accept the document, claiming that he had to consult the Algerian Embassy and some people he trusted beforehand, as OK Diario reported.

During the interview with OK Diario, Lebsir denied that Ghali had entered Spain with forged documents despite the fact that, according to various media reports, he entered the hospital under the identity of Mohamed Benbatouch. Lebsir told OK Diario that the massive arrival of illegal immigrants in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla is the result of blackmail by the Moroccan authorities against the Spanish and not because the Spanish government has received Ghali. 

La ministra española de Asuntos Exteriores, Arancha González Laya, durante una rueda de prensa conjunta con el ministro marroquí de Asuntos Exteriores, Nasser Bourita, en Rabat, Marruecos, el 24 de enero de 2020
PHOTO/REUTERS - Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya during a joint press conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat, Morocco January 24, 2020.

"The Spaniards are free, they are not slaves of the Moroccan monarchy", he explained. He stressed that what has happened is clearly an invasion. "It's not that the Moroccans want to come here. Many of them want to make a living, but Morocco opened the door for an invasion to take place", he told OK Diario. 

Migrantes que intentan llegar al enclave español de Ceuta esperan en el lado marroquí de la frontera, el miércoles 19 de mayo de 2021
AP/BERNAT ARMANGUE - Migrants trying to reach the Spanish enclave of Ceuta wait on the Moroccan side of the border, Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

On the other hand, Salem Lebsir assured OK Diario that Brahim Ghali has already recovered from the coronavirus and that he spends the day doing sport in his room at the San Pedro Hospital in Logroño. "He has some side effects, but he's fine," he told the Spanish media outlet. This is at odds with the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, who assured that Ghali is in Spain for "humanitarian reasons".