Practice Relating to Rule 107. Spies
Section B. Status of spies
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that spies are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
Spies are not lawful combatants and are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status. Espionage is a criminal offence and captured spies are tried in the criminal justice system of the detaining power, which will first rule on the status of the accused, if there is any doubt about it.
The manual further states:
The law of armed conflict does not prohibit [espionage] activities, but penalizes them by depriving members of the armed forces captured engaging in espionage of prisoner-of-war status.
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) provides that non-combatants involved in military espionage are subject to punishment and do not benefit from POW status.