The leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, was rushed to Spain on 18 April after contracting Covid-19 and left the San Pedro de Logroño hospital yesterday, Tuesday, at 9:30 pm local time (19:30 GMT). Accused of torture, rape and human rights violations, the Sahrawi separatist leader had been heard during the day by the investigating judge in Madrid, Santiago Pedraz Gómez. This Wednesday, he returned to Algeria.
During the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, a private French medical plane, exfiltrated the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, to Algiers where he is probably sleeping in a military clinic in the city. The judicial episode was very short. The day before the hearing, the judge had announced that he refused to investigate the entry into Spain under a false identity. A statement that surprised many Moroccans, coming from a magistrate before the hearing. Ghali was also allowed to appear by video conference and not physically.
Sources within the Polisario say that Brahim Ghali will continue his treatment programme for the after-effects of Covid-19 in Algeria, after having overcome the most critical phase of the disease. « He left this evening (Tuesday) the hospital in San Pedro de Logroño, where he was admitted since 18 April, and went to Pamplona airport (Navarra) to take a flight to Algiers. The plane, a French-made civilian aircraft chartered by Algeria, is expected to take off at around 1.40am », says El Pais.
For its part, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains that the green light for Brahim Ghali’s departure was given after the investigating judge (of the National Court) did not order any precautionary measures against him, limiting his freedom of movement. He added that the Polisario leader « carried documents in his name with which he entered Spain » and that « the Moroccan authorities, through diplomatic channels, were informed of his departure » from Spain.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a department headed by the imperturbable Nasser Bourita, has not yet commented on these new developments. However, even if the royal authorities have been informed of this new development, an anger from Morocco is not ruled out, against Spain which could be accused by Rabat of having let Brahim Ghali go, despite all the charges against him.
As a reminder, Brahim Ghali was transferred on 18 April to a hospital in Logroño, under the name of Mohammed Ben Battouch, supposedly of Algerian nationality. On the Algiers side, the intelligence services are reportedly working to identify the mole who « sold » to Morocco the details of Brahim Ghali’s trip to Spain, with an Algerian identity.