Spanish Minister Challenges Critics to Prove Vote Smears

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz challenged his critics to provide proof of his involvement in an attempt to smear a Catalan separatist leader.

Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias accused Fernandez Diaz this month of pushing Spanish newspapers to publish allegations against him.

El Mundo newspaper ran a front-page story in October reporting Trias had 13 million euros ($16 million) in a Swiss bank account in the run up to a disputed vote on Catalan independence. Trias rebutted the allegation with a letter from UBS AG stating the account didn’t exist.

“I don’t have to prove my innocence,” Fernandez Diaz told the Spanish Parliament in Madrid today. “Any journalist or editor that the mayor has referred to that I’ve called or leaked to or pressured to publish this information should speak out. Is that clear?”

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