A BRITISH woman has reportedly been arrested by cops investigating an assassination attempt on a Spanish politician in Madrid.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former head of Spain‘s People’s Party, was shot in the face by a gunman on a motorbike on November 9.
Politician Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former head of Spain’s People’s Party, was shot in the face in Madrid in an attempted assassination[/caption]
A British woman has been arrested today in connection with the attempt on his life[/caption]
The politician was rushed to hospital after the ambush in the neighbourhood of Salamanca[/caption]
The Brit has allegedly been held with her unnamed partner, who is Spanish, alongside someone else.
A police source said: “Her possible participation in the crime is being investigated. She is the partner of one of the other two detainees.”
Local reports said she and her partner were arrested after a car was removed on the orders of local cops in Lanjaron from an area where trees were about to be pruned.
The hire vehicle had been parked on the street despite signs warning locals to remove their cars ahead of the pruning.
The number plate on the car is said to have caused suspicion among investigators probing the attempted assassination in Madrid.
Detectives were reportedly hunting for the vehicle after viewing CCTV footage of the victim’s movements in the days running up to the shooting.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, 78, cheated death after being shot in the face in broad daylight on a central street in the Spanish capital.
Cops and paramedics were called to the neighbourhood of Salamanca in the centre of Madrid – near where Aleja lives – and rushed him to hospital.
The top politician, who has also served as an MEP and First Vice President of the European Parliament, told cops from his hospital bed he blamed Iran for the shooting because of his ties with the country’s opposition.
Local press are saying the British woman was held in Lanjaron, the gateway to the picture-postcard Alpujarras region.
The other arrest is understood to have taken place in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola.
Earlier this morning, a spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: “I can confirm three people have been arrested by police in connection with the ongoing investigation into the shooting in Madrid earlier this month.
“Two are Spanish nationals. We are not in a position at this moment in time to confirm the nationality of the third person held.
“Two of the arrests took place in Granada and the other in the province of Malaga.”
Police sources said judge Francisco de Jorge, from Spain’s Central Criminal Court the Audiencia Nacional, oversaw the arrests.
The court is leading a judicial probe into the shooting on the basis it could be terrorism-related.
Alejo was shot at point-blank range from just two metres away as he was walking to his car.
He was apparently targeted by a man wearing a black helmet who fled on a motorbike driven by an accomplice, and is still recovering from his injuries in hospital after an emergency operation.
The 78-year-old was among the first politicians to be placed on Iran’s terrorist list due to his support for the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a group whose goal is to overthrow the Tehran regime.
He is also a member of the European Friends of Israel, a lobby group aiming to defend Israel’s interests within the EU.
Spanish investigators have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shooting, which left Alejo with a double jaw fracture after the bullet fired at him from close range hit him in the right cheek.
Local reports have pointed to at least one of the people arrested this morning being linked to the motorbike used in the hit.
None of the detainees are believed to be the gunman, although this is not something police have made any official comment on.