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Spain Mulls Suing Polisario Leader Over Unpaid €45,000 Hospital Bill

The local Spanish government of La Rioja is considering to sue Polisario leader Ibrahim Ghali to collect the unpaid € 45,658 bill for his hospitalization in the city of Logroño from April 18 to June 1, 2021.

Ghali received treatment under the name of Benbattouch, the name given in the forged Algerian passport upon which he entered Spain.

The incident caused the dismissal of Spain’s then Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, and a serious diplomatic crisis with Morocco until Pedro Sánchez’s Government changed position in Morocco’s favor regarding the Sahara.

Concha Andreu, the previous Socialist Executive refused to provide the amount of the bill to the judge who investigated for a year a possible prevarication and false documentation in the entry and subsequent admission of Ghali to the hospital, a case that the Zaragoza Court finally forced him to file.

The regional administration used the “privacy” of Brahim Ghali -whose hospitalization in Spain was authorized by the Government for humanitarian reasons at the request of Algeria, as he was suffering from severe pneumonia due to Covid-19- and the law of data protection to not give these data to the judge Rafael Lasala.

A court in Spain previously issued an arrest warrant against him on charges of rape, genocide, terrorism, war crimes and other charges. The warrant remains pending.

Spain’s failure to arrest Ghali caused it an extreme embarrassment at the European External Action Service, triggered a serious diplomatic incident with Morocco, and sparked protests by hundreds of Polisario’s victims.

Hundreds of victims demonstrated in Madrid, Tarragona and other cities in Spain denouncing the Spanish authorities that allowed Brahim Ghali to enter Spain under a fake Algerian identity.

They have demanded that the Spanish judiciary resume and speed up the pending prosecution of Ghali to prevent him evading justice. Ghali is accused of having ordered assassinations, kidnappings, and torture against hundreds of Moroccans and at least 300 Spanish victims.

The complaints against Ghali include allegations of rape lodged with the Spanish National Hearing issued by Khadijatou Mohamed Mahmoud, a young Sahrawi girl from Tindouf camps, Southwestern Algeria. He is also subject to an outstanding European Arrest Warrant.