The regional government of La Rioja in Spain is considering suing Ibrahim Ghali to recover the cost of his medical treatment in 2021

La Rioja, Spain: The regional government of La Rioja in Spain is considering suing the leader of the Polisario Front, Ibrahim Ghali, to recover the cost of his medical treatment in Spain in 2021. According to the Spanish newspaper “Larathon”, Ghali’s hospital bill at the “San Pedro de Logroño” Hospital amounted to more than 45,000 euros, a sum that the La Rioja government has been trying to collect since March 2022.

An outstanding bill and a previous refusal

Sources said that the previous regional government, headed by the socialist Concha Andreu, had refused to provide the bill to the court that investigated for a year the possibility of forgery of Ghali’s entry documents into Spain. The Andreu government also ignored, on four occasions, requests for information on the cost of treatment from the Popular Party in the regional parliament.

The bill is revealed with the change of government

With the Popular Party taking over the presidency of the regional government of La Rioja, Ghali’s treatment bill was revealed. According to the newspaper, Ghali arrived in Spain in 2021 with a forged passport issued by the Algerian authorities and under the false name “Mohamed Ben Battouche”, and received treatment for coronavirus at the “San Pedro de Logroño” Hospital.

Details of the scandal

Ghali entered the hospital in an ambulance from Zaragoza accompanied by his son and his personal doctor. One of them filled out the hospital admission form as Ghali’s legal representative. The director of health services in La Rioja was questioned by the Spanish judiciary after the scandal broke, and stated that he was not aware of the amount of the bill or whether it had been paid.

Diplomatic crisis and repercussions

It is worth noting that Ghali’s smuggling into Spain with forged documents had sparked a diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Spain, which led to the dismissal of the then Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez. The crisis later subsided after Madrid changed its position on the Western Sahara issue and expressed its support for the self-determination plan, during a visit by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Rabat in April 2022.

About محمد الفاسي