Juan Cano / Melchor Sáiz-Pardo / Laura Velasco
Malaga / Madrid / Granada
Tuesday, 21 November 2023, 12:00
Three people have been arrested in Malaga and Granada provinces this morning in connection to the alleged attempted assassination of the founder of Spain's far-right Vox party.
National Police arrested a man (with the initials A.R.B) in Fuengirola this Tuesday morning (21 November), and another man and woman in Lanjarón in Granada, for their alleged involvement in the attempted murder of Alejo Vidal-Quadras in Madrid on 9 November.
The two men are Spanish and the woman is British, but none of them are the alleged hitman who shot the veteran politician at point-blank range, according to investigators.
Police tracked the motorbike used in the attack to the suspect arrested on the Costa del Sol. The bike was torched in Fuenlabrada, the south of Madrid, following the incident, but officers recovered the VIN (vehicle identification number), leading them to an address in Fuengirola. It is unknown if the man arrested is the same man who drove the motorbike used to flee the scene of the crime.
Meanwhile, a badly parked car was the clue that helped officers uncover the arrested pair in Granada. The vehicle was parked in a prohibited area on Avenida de las Alpujarras in Lanjarón, triggering Local Police to tow it away. Officers then ran a search of the vehicle's registration number and discovered it was the same car that sparked interest among National Police after it was caught on surveillance in the vicinity of Vidal-Quadras on the day prior to him being shot.
The British woman arrested in Lanjarón - the partner of the man arrested - is not clearly linked to the alleged crime, investigators said.
Shot at point-black range
Vidal-Quadras was walking on a street in the wealthy suburb of Salamanca in Madrid when a masked gunman shot him in the face around 1.30pm on 9 November. The 78-year-old was rushed to hospital in a stable condition and underwent emergency surgery later that day. The bullet had passed through his jaw, according to emergency services.
Under close surveillance
The three arrested had been under the close eye of police for several days. Vidal-Quadras himself linked the attack on him to Iran's secret services. But the Tehran government's embassy in Madrid ruled out the regime's link to the assassination attempt but claimed the Ayatollahs' government group was behind it instead. Sources close to the investigation said the detainees are linked to Iran, but did not reveal what their political affiliation is.
Two people were involved in the shooting, according to numerous witnesses who were in the area at the time. A neighbour said that a slightly built person, wearing a black helmet, blue coat and jeans, was waiting for Vidal-Cuadras on the corner of Calle Ayala and Núñez de Balboa, very close to the former Popular Party leader's home.
The politician, who had just been to the gym, was returning home on foot. At that moment, just 40 metres from his home, the gunman approached and shot him at point-blank range.
The gunman then calmly made his way to nearby Calle Hermosilla and got on a black Yamaha T-MAX scooter, where a second person, also wearing a helmet, was waiting for him. They fled the scene at high speed.
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