SPAIN paid €12m to secure the release of three journalists held hostage in Syria by al-Qaeda linked terrorists, a Turkish newspaper has claimed.
Freelance journalists Antonio Pampliega, Jose Manuel Lopez and Angel Sastre were flown back to Spain May 8 after being held hostage by jihadist group al-Nusra Front for 10 months.
They were kidnapped last July while reporting from Aleppo in Syria.
Spain´s acting foreign minister Jose Margallo said he could neither confirm or deny the claims made by the paper Yeni Safak.
When asked for a comment he told reporters in Havana: “I am not aware that this is the case.”
The paper claims the Turkish government relayed with mediators in Syria to negotiate the payment after the kidnappers had initially asked for €25m.
Spain ended up handing over around €12m and a shipment of aid to refugee camps for the displaced in Syria.
Spain and many other European states have reportedly paid several ransoms to Islamist terrorist groups.
The US Treasury estimates the amount handed over since 2008 is as high as €147m.
The US and UK refuse to negotiate with terrorists.
- WATCH: Aircraft and dozens of firefighters called to huge forest fire in Spain’s Andalucia - 23 Jan, 2019 @ 14:48
- Direct Malaga to NEW YORK flights available from May 2019 - 22 Jan, 2019 @ 18:20
- Expats pay tribute to Marbella businessman ‘linked to TOWIE stars and Mohamed Al-Fayed’ after he was brutally gunned down on doorstep - 22 Jan, 2019 @ 14:03
- Marbella shooting victim identified as high profile Costa del Sol businessman behind Linekers - 21 Jan, 2019 @ 18:30
- WARNING: Orange alerts for SNOW, wind and strong waves across Spain and Andalucia this week - 21 Jan, 2019 @ 14:59
- Expat appears in court after shooting and killing boy, 4, during hunt in Spain’s Andalucia - 21 Jan, 2019 @ 12:45
- Man shot to death inside his Bentley on Spain’s Costa del Sol in latest mafia hit - 21 Jan, 2019 @ 11:26
- Malaga law firm secures regulation from the Ministry of Justice after winning more than €1 million back from timeshare giants last year - 20 Jan, 2019 @ 18:22
- What do King Solomon, Andalucia’s Rio Tinto mines, NASA and Mars have in common? - 19 Jan, 2019 @ 13:44
- HAPPY RETURN: How British expats in Spain can plan for retirement back in Britain - 18 Jan, 2019 @ 17:44