The courts of justice and the State security forces (National Police and Civil Guard) have uncovered and dismantled numerous corruption plots of a wide range of political colors so far this century. But, in 2019, those two bodies of officials (the police and the judicial) encountered a different case: an alleged network of corrupt commissioners who had used funds reserved from the Ministry of the Interior for a secret operation, behind the judge’s back, consistent in covering the corruption of the party that governed in those moments in Spain.
It was that year 2019 when the investigation of the Tandem case, The police mafia led by Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo who operated for 20 years in Spain committing all kinds of abuses and illegalities, uncovered an operation designed in 2013 by the Ministry of the Interior to obstruct the judicial investigation of the illegal financing of the PP. An illegal activity paid for with public money, carried out by police officers and designed to prevent the rule of law from fighting political corruption, according to the judicial investigation.
Judge Manuel García Castellón, who has been instructing the case for more than two years, summarized the content of the investigations carried out so far in a car signed on May 31, in which he denied a series of proceedings requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. His story is as follows:
A plot to steal sensitive material. “The plot, from the provisional nature of this procedural moment, it can be affirmed that it would have consisted of the capture and manipulation of Sergio Javier Ríos Esgueva, at the time the conductor of Rosalía Iglesias Villar, wife of the former PP treasurer, Luis Francisco Bárcenas Gutiérrez, as a collaborator informant from the National Police Corps, in order to obtain from said collaborator, as a person of the marriage’s highest confidence, specific information about the place where Luis Bárcenas and his wife would hide documentary material, related to the aforementioned political party and senior leaders of the himself, in exchange for a monthly fee charged to reserved expenses and Sergio Javier Ríos Esgueva’s access to the National Police Corps as a reward, in order to access said material before it was known to the judicial authority in the investigation carried out within the separate piece of preliminary proceedings 275/08 of the central investigating court No. 5 of the National Court ”.
The judge dares to affirm, incidentally, that the police operation was paid for with reserved funds, included giving a position of an official in the police to the confidant and consisted of stealing documentation, “before it was known” by the judge investigating the financing illegal of the PP. All this happened when the PP ruled with an absolute majority and, therefore, controlled the ministry from where the operation was allegedly carried out.
Commissioners participation. “The actions carried out within this separate piece number 7 have proven, on an indirect basis, the participation of different police officers, already formally investigated,” continues the judge. “With regard to this exclusively police framework, the launch of this illicit police operation would have occurred within the scope of the Deputy Directorate of Operations (DAO) in charge of the investigated Eugenio Pino Sánchez at that time.” This, “with abuse of his functions,” says García Castellón, would have entrusted the operation to Marcelino Martín Blas, head of the Internal Affairs Unit, to commissioners Enrique García Castaño, José Manuel Villarejo and Andrés Gómez Gordo. The objective was to “obtain ‘from the cook’ or ‘K2’, this is Sergio Javier Ríos Esgueva, in exchange for the monthly delivery of 2,000 euros plus expenses from the reserved funds, and the subsequent entry into the National Police Corps, information that it would allow them to steal from a closed place that they define as ‘zulo’ compromising documentation for the PP and for senior officials of the same in possession of Luis Bárcenas Gutiérrez and his wife Rosalía Iglesias Villar ”.
Money diverted from legal purposes. “The commissioners were aware of the so-called Operation Kitchen as well as of its illicit nature as its objective was the theft of evidence from a judicial procedure and the use during its development of reserved funds of the Secretary of State for Security of the Ministry of the Interior, which they would thus be diverted from the strict legally foreseen purposes for their authorization and use ”, says the judge.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.