The Spanish partner of a British woman arrested for the attempted murder of a veteran politician in Madrid is a “radical Shiite Muslim” who allegedly hired a paid hitman.
The pair were arrested this morning by officers investigating the assassination attempt on veteran Spanish politician Alejo Vidal-Quadras.
Granada-based newspaper Ideal said all indications were that the attempt was the work of Iranian groups linked to Tehran, as victim Vidal-Quadras himself told police.
Spain’s National Police are not expected to make a full statement before a judge questions the suspects in court and decides whether they should be remanded in custody pending an ongoing investigation or released on bail.
There has been no official comment from police on the suspected level of involvement of the British woman arrested this morning.
The partner was today described locally as a ‘radical Shia Muslim’.
The couple were arrested this morning in the town of Lanjaron, the gateway to the Alpujarras region, after another man was arrested on the Costa Del Sol.
Mr Vidal-Quadras cheated death after being shot in the face in broad daylight on a central street in the Spanish capital on November 9.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras killed himself after being shot in the face in broad daylight on a central street in the Spanish capital on November 9
The couple were arrested this morning in the town of Lanjaron, the gateway to the Alpujarras region, after another man was arrested in Fuengirola, Spain
The victim, a former regional leader of Catalonia’s right-wing Popular Party before breaking away to help form the far-right Vox party, told police from his hospital bed that he blamed Iran for the shooting because of his ties to the opposition country.
Police sources said this afternoon they were working on the theory that the Briton’s partner had hired a paid hitman to kill Vidal-Quadras.
They are said to be closing in on a North African hitman who allegedly paid to carry out the crime, Granada-based newspaper Ideal reported. It has not been made clear whether investigators believe the unnamed British woman was aware of her partner’s suspected involvement.
The other arrest is said to have taken place in the seaside resort of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
Detectives suspect he organized the assassination attempt at the “request of other people,” Ideal claimed, citing sources close to the ongoing investigation.
A police source confirmed this morning that the British woman was one of three people arrested. They said: “Her possible participation in the crime is under investigation. She is the partner of one of the other two detainees.’
A spokesperson for Spain’s National Police said this afternoon: ‘All three people detained earlier today remain in custody. We cannot say more at this time.”
The couple held in Lanjaron had been living in a rented first-floor apartment above one of the city’s main roads for the past two weeks, according to neighbors, although the owners told local press that the property had been rented to the mother of the couple. British woman. She is described as having lived in Lanjarón for many years.
No official information has been released about a possible motive for the Madrid shooting.
According to local reports, the Briton and her partner, who is Spanish, were arrested after their car was removed from an area where trees were about to be pruned on the orders of police in the spa town of Lanjaron.
The rental car was parked on the street despite signs warning locals to remove their cars due to the pruning that was about to take place.
The license plate on the car is said to have raised the suspicions of investigators investigating the attempted murder in Madrid, as detectives were reportedly hunting for the vehicle after reviewing CCTV footage of the victim’s movements in the days leading up to the shooting.
Earlier this morning, a spokesperson for the Spanish National Police said: ‘I can confirm that three people have been arrested by police in connection with the ongoing investigation into the shooting in Madrid earlier this month.
‘Two have Spanish nationality. We are not in a position to confirm the nationality of the third person at this time.
“Two of the arrests took place in Granada and the other in the province of Malaga.”
Police work at the site where Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former head of the Spanish People’s Party in the Catalonia region, was shot in the face, in Madrid, Spain, on November 9
A Civil Protection spokesman said Vidal-Quadras retained consciousness and was rushed to nearby Gregorio Marañón Hospital.
A police source later confirmed that the third person was the British woman.
Police sources said the arrests were supervised by Francisco de Jorge, the judge of Spain’s Central Criminal Court, the Audiencia Nacional.
She is leading the judicial investigation into the shooting because it may be related to terrorism.
78-year-old Vidal-Quadras, who was targeted near his home in Madrid by a man wearing a black helmet who fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice, is still recovering from his injuries in hospital after emergency surgery.
The Spaniard was one of the first politicians to be placed on Iran’s terrorist list for his support of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), a group aimed at overthrowing the regime in Tehran.
He is also a member of the European Friends of Israel, a lobby group that aims to defend Israel’s interests within the European Union.
Spanish investigators have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shooting, in which Mr Vidal-Quadras suffered a double fracture of the jaw after the bullet fired at him at close range hit him in the right cheek.
The attack took place around 1:30 PM on November 9 on Nunez de Balboa Street. The victim was rushed to the Gregorio Maranon hospital in the Spanish capital.
Local reports have indicated that at least one of the people arrested this morning is linked to the motorcycle used in the collision.
None of those arrested are believed to be the shooter, although police have made no official comment on the matter.