The judge of Neuron case, Juan José Escalonilla, has agreed to impute Juan Carlos Monedero, co-founder of Podemos and current director of the 25 de Mayo Institute, a foundation linked to the formation of the left. As recorded in a letter issued this Tuesday, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the magistrate has agreed to summon him to testify on March 15 at 11:30 as an investigated. The instructor adopts this initiative after suspecting a payment of 26,200 euros from the Mexican consultancy Neurona to the former leader of the party led by Pablo Iglesias. Monedero denies, for its part, any illegality.
This decision inflicts a new setback on Podemos, which had seen in recent weeks how several of the fronts that it has open in the courts have thinned. The Supreme Court, for example, rejected at the end of January to open a case for the Dina case Iglesias himself, whom Judge Manuel García-Castellón had asked to impute as a result of his investigation into the alleged theft of a mobile phone from a former collaborator of the current second vice president of the Government. Additionally, Stepper has reduced the range of the Neuron case, by filing four of the lines of instruction opened at first: among them, those that dealt with the alleged cost overruns in the reform of the training headquarters and the alleged diversion of money from its solidarity fund, a fund to which the Public officials donate part of their salary for social purposes and that the opposition described as “box b”.
The investigations that point to Monedero stem from a complaint filed with the Civil Guard by José Manuel Calvente, a former party lawyer fired and confronted with the current leadership. The lawyer listed the agents a whole battery of alleged irregularities in the political force and expressly mentioned the co-founder, whom he placed as an “intermediary and commission agent” between Neurona and Podemos. Following his statement, Escalonilla made a first move in the summer: he requested a report from the Mercantile Registry on the companies whose boards of directors included the political scientist. In mid-September, he opened a separate piece of investigation that he has kept secret until two weeks ago.
The Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police then prepared, in this context, a report where it points directly to Monedero for a payment it received from Neurona worth 26,200.31 euros. According to the judge, who collects the agents’ thesis, that money would be linked to the subsequent hiring of the company by the party for the 2019 general elections. That is, according to his theory, it would be an alleged consideration so that the training could be done later with the services of the consultant.
The magistrate specifies his suspicions in a car of November 17. The judge indicates as an indication the invoice issued for those 26,200 euros, dated December 30, 2018 under the concept of “300 hours of face-to-face consulting in Buenos Aires, Colombia and Mexico.” According to Escalonilla, this document is allegedly “false” and was manufactured “to this”To justify the payment. As he adds, the invoice is issued by Neurona itself on a Sunday and is the first of that exercise, despite the fact that it is drawn up at the end of the year. It is “common to issue false invoices under the protection of the alleged performance of advisory services, as it is a difficult service to verify,” adds the instructor.
Monedero maintains that this invoice was made legally and repeats that it is declared to the Treasury. The co-founder of the formation has always recognized that he worked for Neurona years ago and insists that he had nothing to do with the hiring of the Mexican company by Podemos. Along these lines, the head of the 2019 electoral campaign, Juan Manuel del Olmo, assured the judge that it was he who decided on his own initiative, after the head of the company contacted him months before and after the elections were called by surprise. in February 2019, entrust them with the tasks for the elections. Olmo added that these tasks were provided, in the face of the judge’s belief that they were never carried out and that a “simulated” contract was signed to pay them 363,000 euros for doing nothing.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.