Liberum association suggests police raid may be necessary to protect civil rights
The Spanish Health Ministry ought to tread carefully, lest a book is thrown in its direction: it has refused to hand over secret contracts signed with the pharmaceutical industry despite an order from a top regional court for their release.
As previously covered in SCALED, the Madrid-based civil rights association Liberum demanded the documents be released in the course of a legal challenge to the Balearic covid pass regime. On 28 July the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands (Tribunal Superior de Justicia de las Islas Baleares, TSJB) ruled that covid vaccine contracts signed between Spain (or the European Commission) and Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Modern and Janssen were relevant to proceedings. The TSJB ordered their disclosure within 10 days, to include any and all commercial and indemnity clauses. The Spanish government did not enter an appeal.
On 3 August, however, the Spanish Medicines agency replied that the contracts formed part of a ‘confidential’ agreement between the Commission and vaccine manufacturors. The ‘sensitive’ nature of negotiations for vaccine purchase ‘in a highly competitive global market’ had made this a necessary contingency. As such, neither the committee that assisted the Commission in the procurement nor the Spanish government were able to release the relevant documentation.
In colloquial terms, Liberum’s legal team, lead by the Madrid-based lawyer Luis María Pardo, are having none of it. They argue that the TSJB’s order has not been appealed, is therefore final and that the Government must sumbit to judicial control. The mandatory nature of the order notwithstanding, Pardo points out that the existence of a confidentiality clause, without viewing the contracts, cannot be assured.
Liberum has filed a further writ, demanding that the Health Ministry comply with the order. In the event of continued refusal, the association has requested a court order for a police search of government premises.
In the free speech paradise that is Twitter, a user linked to Liberum has managed to goad: “Can you picture the Guardia Civil entering the Ministry of Health to conduct a search? …. Well, we are on track to seeing that happen…”
Will boots of Spanish leather be kicking down a health official’s door? Well, be sure to check back in and see.