Pepe Rei died this Tuesday at the age of 73, after a long convalescence from the traffic accident he suffered in 2002. Gone is a career as an investigative journalist in ‘ Egin ‘ and other media
Pepe Rei worked in the newspapers El Pueblo Gallego, Odiel, Diario Madrid, La Voz de España, Leaf of Monday, La Voz de Euskadi and Interviú magazine. In 1988 he joined the daily Egin, linked to the nationalist left in the 90s, where he became editor-in-chief and promoted its research team.
In 1994, the Ertzaintza searched Egin’s headquarters, seizing computer equipment from the investigation team. That same year, coincidences were found between the files of Rei’s team’s investigations and the information on targets seized from ETA. In August, Pepe Rei was arrested by order of Judge Carlos Bueren, accused of providing this information to the terrorist group, but he was acquitted in 1997.
In 1998, Judge Baltasar Garzón ordered the precautionary closure of Egin. Rei continued his work on the monthly magazine Ardi Beltza, but was arrested again in 1999 and 2001, and the magazine was closed by court order. Pepe Rei attributed his arrests to the expression of his opinions, while the police continued to consider him a collaborator of the ETA investigation apparatus, although this point was never proven.
On June 13, 2001, Section IV of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court decided to release Pepe Rei, after having spent five months in prison. The magistrates considered that there were no elements that imputed and proved that, with his work in Ardi Beltza, Rei pointed out or marked the objectives of ETA.
In January 2007 Pepe Rei was convicted of slander along with two other journalists from the Ardi Beltza magazine, for which he had to pay 5 million pesetas as compensation to General Enrique Rodríguez Galindo.
In August 2002 he suffered a serious traffic accident that took him away from his profession. In January 2013, a non-profit cultural association was created in his name to promote investigative and reporting journalism.