Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, says he will not be losing a minute’s sleep over the fact that members of the right-wing Vox political party have lodged a case against him with the Audiencia Nacional in Madrid, accusing him of instigating torture.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Picardo described the accusations as “frivolous and vexatious and a clear abuse of process”. In addition, he said, the proceedings are “a slur on the excellent reputation and work of Her Majesty’s Royal Gibraltar Police, Her Majesty’s Prison Service and the Gibraltar Magistrates’ Court and legal system, all of which I have complete confidence in”.
The events behind the case date back to June, when the leader of Vox, Juan Ignacio Mínguez, was arrested and remanded in custody after placing a large Spanish flag on the Rock of Gibraltar. Lawyer Pedro Fernández was also detained for taking photos during the court hearing two days later.
Vox claims that both men were unlawfully detained and subjected to torture and crimes against moral integrity by the police and legal officers on the instructions of Picardo. Judge Ismael Moreno will now try to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and will carry out his own investigations before deciding whether to take any further action.