Sunday, December 5

Jorge Fernández Díaz: Former Interior Minister and his police leadership indicted for illegally spying on former treasurer Bárcenas | Spain

Mariano Rajoy and Jorge Fernandez Díaz, in Barcelona.
Mariano Rajoy and Jorge Fernandez Díaz, in Barcelona.EFE

The judicial ordeal of the PP writes this Thursday a new chapter. The magistrate Manuel García-Castellón, instructor of the National Court, has proposed to send to the bench the political and police leadership of the Ministry of the Interior of the first Government of Mariano Rajoy (2011-2015) for the espionage operation against Luis Bárcenas hatched in 2013 , which allegedly aimed to snatch compromising roles from the former popular treasury for senior party officials to prevent them from reaching Judge Pablo Ruz, who was then investigating the Gürtel case and box b of the formation. García-Castellón thus inflicts a severe blow to the main opposition force, led by Pablo Casado, but files the investigations against his former secretary general, María Dolores de Cospedal, and her husband, Ignacio López del Hierro, for the “weakness” of the evidence against them. Both were accused until now and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office points them out as the other leg that ordered this irregular deployment.

After nearly three years of investigation, García-Castellón considers that he already has enough evidence to send the hard core of the Interior to trial for an operation paid for with reserved funds and carried out behind the back of Judge Ruz, who was investigating the illegal financing of the PP within the summary opened by the Gürtel case. The magistrate concludes in his brief that the entire group of police officers and former senior officials moved with the idea of ​​”accessing documentation and information held by Bárcenas to divert it from the ongoing judicial process.” This was, the car emphasizes, “the vector” in common of those involved and “the basis of the operation.” “And there are indications that allow to maintain that the access to the information kept by the [extesorero]”, Emphasizes the instructor.

With this initiative, García Castellón, head of the Central Court of Instruction 6, leaves Jorge Fernández Díaz, Minister of the Interior, one step away from the bench when Kitchen was developed —between July 2013 and July 2015—; to its number two, Francisco Martínez, former Secretary of State for Security, and part of the police leadership at the time: from the Deputy Director of Operations of the Corps, Eugenio Pino, to Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, accused in some thirty investigations where he is accused of directing a police mafia that committed crimes to favor individuals, businessmen and the PP.

“The intervention of the top government officials of the Ministry of the Interior is reliably verified”, underlines the resolution of the instructor, which places Fernández Díaz at “the apex of the chain that ordered the start-up of the operation.” According to the judge, the “active” role of Francisco Martínez presumably responds to the fact that he received “specific orders” from his boss, who gave him the “priority” of this issue ”. In addition, “the ancestry [de ambos] about the higher-ranking police officers who carried out the operation is evident and backbone [Kitchen], from the ideation to the authorization of the material expenses that allowed it to materialize ”.

The magistrate also points out among the alleged culprits the commissioner Andrés Gómez Gordo, an advisor for Cospedal for years in his time as president of Castilla-La Mancha. However, the former secretary general of the PP and former Minister of Defense avoids, for the moment, the bench. Through the same indictment, against which there is an appeal, the judge files the case against her and her husband, Ignacio López del Hierro. This businessman, like Cospedal, maintained permanent contact with Commissioner Villarejo, who told him details of open investigations that were secret and that the then investigating judge was even unaware of.

The investigation of caso Kitchen A report from the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) of the Police began in November 2018 after reaching the National Court on the audios and documentation found to the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo that evidenced the implementation of the espionage plot, which included the recruitment as a confidant of Bárcenas’ driver, Sergio Ríos, who was paid with reserved funds. Since then, the investigations have escalated, pointing first to the Rajoy police leadership, then to the top officials of the Ministry of the Interior and, finally, to the leadership of the PP itself. In fact, in a recent report, the principal investigator of the Gürtel case put the focus on the game and It concluded that Kitchen’s objective was to “deactivate” the judicial investigations against the popular ones.

However, the target does not rise beyond the Interior and the Police at the moment, according to the indictment issued this Thursday. García-Castellón terminates the investigation, despite the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office, the State Attorney, the injured parties, the popular accusations and various defenses asked to continue for six more months. Moreover, Anticorrupción had requested just 13 days ago that Ignacio Cosidó, former director general of the Corps and spokesman for the PP in the Senate, be questioned as a defendant, given “the possible implication of [más] political and governmental leaders in the conception, implementation, development and control of this illicit police operation ”. But the judge considers that summons as “unnecessary and useless” for lack of evidence against him.

The magistrate also refuses to inquire about the latest statements by Villarejo, who assured that he informed Rajoy de Kitchen through mobile messages. “No diligence that has been practiced so far allows maintaining that he had direct communication with any president or prime minister,” emphasizes the judge in his order, where he adds: “From the experience of more than forty years of professional practice of this instructor, It is not unknown that an investigated person, who attracts enormous media attention, tries to find connections with all kinds of characters, historical facts or events, in an inordinate effort to gain notoriety and repercussion, but the procedural law and the seriousness of the criminal trial are above this kind of frivolity ”.

The prosecution has coincided with a public appearance by Pablo Casado, who has marked distances with the former Minister of the Interior, but has defended Cospedal, who supported him in his career for the presidency of the PP against Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría: “Fernández Díaz is suspended from membership. The judge has also said that the former general secretary, María Dolores de Cospedal, has no responsibility and I believe that it should lead to a reflection to the parties that said that we did not do anything against a person who today [por este jueves] it has been seen that he is innocent ”.

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