MADRID (Reuters) -Spanish police on Tuesday detained three people as part of an anti-terror investigation into the shooting of the former head of Spain’s conservative People’s Party in Catalonia on a busy Madrid street 12 days ago.
One of the suspects was arrested in the southern port city of Malaga and the other two in Granada, a police source told Reuters, confirming early reports from news website El Confidencial and radio station Cadena SER.
Two of them were Spanish men and the third arrested was a British woman, the source said.
Police are looking into whether they have links with foreign countries.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face on a sidewalk in the wealthy neighbourhood of Salamanca in central Madrid at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 by a gunman wearing a helmet who was riding pillion on a motorbike.
The 78-year-old conservative politician survived the attack as the bullet passed through his jaw. He is still in hospital recovering from a double fracture of the jaw, the hospital said on Tuesday, but is making “good progress”.
An anti-terrorism court is in charge of the investigation. The court spokesperson was not immediately able to comment.
Vidal-Quadras is former head of the centre-right People’s Party (PP) in Catalonia and a founder of Spain’s far-right Vox party. He was the European Parliament vice-president between 2009 and 2014.
The Paris-based Iranian opposition group, the Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, described him as a staunch ally, and blamed the Iranian government for the attack.
Police have not confirmed any such theory, and a spokesperson for the Iranian Embassy in Madrid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In October 2022, Vidal-Quadras was included in an Iranian sanctions list in retaliation for European Union sanctions imposed on the country following the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
Amini’s death triggered months of nationwide protests that represented one of the fiercest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.
The Iranian sanctions included a visa and entry ban on Vidal-Quadras and seizure of any property in Iran.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; Additional reporting by the Dubai Newsroom. Editing by Alex Richardson, Aislinn Laing and Bernadette Baum)