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At least two US diplomats have been expelled from Spain for bribing intelligence officials, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported, citing government sources.
According to the newspaper, the diplomats were quietly withdrawn from Madrid after an internal investigation revealed that two Spanish intelligence officials had given information in exchange for a “large sum”.
Officers from the Spanish intelligence agency (CNI), the area chief and his assistant were arrested two months ago and a court ordered their case to be kept secret, Reuters recalled, citing the Spanish newspaper.
US Ambassador Julisa Reynoso was summoned to the State Department and apologized for the incident, according to El Pais. Washington has since complied with the request of the Spanish ministries of defense and foreign affairs that the two embassy officials leave Spain.
“Unacceptable between allies” – Macron asked the US for an explanation of the espionage affair with Merkel
The embassy declined to comment, Reuters reports, as did spokespeople for the Foreign Ministry and the Supreme Court in Madrid.
“This is a very serious matter because the recruitment of secret agents by a host nation to betray their own country is an openly hostile act committed against enemy governments, but never with friends or allies,” El Pais wrote.
Denmark dropped espionage case to protect classified information
Denmark recently dropped charges against a former minister for helping US intelligence wiretap European politicians, including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Copenhagen was forced to drop the case so as not to divulge state secrets during the trial.