A British woman has reportedly been arrested by police investigating an assassination attempt on a Spanish politician in Madrid.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former leader of the Spanish People’s Party, was shot in the face by a gunman on a motorcycle on November 9.
The Briton was one of three people held this morning after details emerged of an initial arrest on the Costa del Sol.
A police source said: “Their possible involvement in the crime is being investigated.
“She is the partner of one of the other two prisoners.”
According to local reports, she and her unnamed partner, who is Spanish, were arrested after a car was removed from an area where trees were to be trimmed in Lanjaron on the orders of police deployed by the town hall.
The rental vehicle was parked on the street despite signs asking residents to remove their cars because of the upcoming tree trimming work.
The license plate on the car is said to have raised the suspicions of investigators probing the attempted murder in Madrid, as detectives had reportedly been searching for the vehicle after seeing CCTV footage of the victim’s movements in the days before the shooting.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras died after he was shot in the face in broad daylight on a central street in the Spanish capital on November 9.
The victim, a former regional leader of the right-wing People’s Party in Catalonia before he split off to form the far-right Vox party, told police from his hospital bed that he blamed Iran for the shooting because of its ties to the country’s opposition have.
According to local press, the British woman was held in the spa town of Lanjaron, the gateway to the postcard Alpujarra region. The man held in the same city was described as her partner.
The other arrest is said to have taken place in the resort of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
This morning a spokesman 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 are Spanish citizens. We are currently unable to confirm the nationality of the third person detained.
“Two of the arrests took place in Granada and the other in the province of Malaga.”
They could not immediately be reached to provide further details after reports that the only woman held was British.
Police sources said the arrests were supervised by Francisco de Jorge, the judge at Spain’s central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional.
She is leading the judicial investigation into the shooting, saying it could be related to terrorism.
Mr. Vidal-Quadras, 78, who was attacked near his home in Madrid by a man in 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 among the first politicians to be placed on Iran’s terror list because he supported the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (MEK), a group whose aim is to overthrow the Tehran regime.
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 not yet commented on a possible motive for the shooting, in which Mr. Vidal-Quadras suffered a double fracture of his jaw after the bullet fired at him at close range hit him in the right cheek.
The attack occurred on November 9th at around 1:30 p.m. on Nunez de Balboa Street. The victim was admitted to the Gregorio Maranon Hospital in the Spanish capital.
Local reports indicate that at least one of the people arrested this morning is connected to the motorcycle used in the accident.
None of those arrested are believed to be the shooter, although police have made no official comment.