GIBRALTAR’S government said it was ‘pleased’ that Spanish police had arrested six of the suspects from the Eastern Beach incident last month.
National Police officers arrested in La Linea ‘identified individuals’ that allegedly threw stones at Spain’s coastguard from the local beach.
The coastguard officers had accidentally landed at Eastern Beach after trying to catch tobacco smugglers in rough seas.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo reacted with ire over this ‘gross violation of British sovereignty’.
But after the initial outburst there has been little mention of the incident, branded ‘the most serious and dangerous’ for years.
Now the government applauded the arrests, hinting Gibraltar’s authorities played their part in the action.
This was confirmed to the local broadcaster by the Royal Gibraltar Police.
“I know the RGP has been in contact with fellow Policia Nacional officers in respect of this matter and am pleased that prosecutions will follow,” Picardo said in a statement.
As Spanish law allows any attack on its citizens to be prosecuted in its territory, it will not matter that the incident occurred in Gibraltar.
And authorities in the British overseas territory said they would help out where possible.
“As usual, Gibraltar’s law enforcement agencies will be happy to support any request for evidence to be provided in these prosecutions, as we regularly volunteer to do in all cases,” the government added.
Tobacco smugglers injured two coastguards in the incident, one seriously, leading to anger on both sides of the border.
It comes as Spain continues to meet with the UK to agree an EU treaty that would remove the land frontier altogether.