Friday, October 15

The National Court imputes in the ‘Villarejo case’ Mauricio Casals, president of ‘La Razón’ | Spain

Mauricio Casals, at the National Court, in April 2017.
Mauricio Casals, at the National Court, in April 2017.ÁLVARO GARCÍA

The National Court has charged Mauricio Casals, president of the newspaper The reason and member of the board of directors of Atresmedia, a group to which La Sexta and Antena 3 belong, in one of the lines of investigation opened in the Villarejo case. The Criminal Chamber has ordered the reopening of piece 18 of the macrosummary, called Project Brod, in which the alleged espionage of the brothers Javier and Ignacio Pérez Dolset is investigated, which the investigating judge Manuel García-Castellón had previously shelved . The magistrates of the higher body, as recorded in a car, want a statement from Casals to clarify if he was the person who made such an order to the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, the epicenter of the plot and in provisional prison since November 2017.

The members of the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber thus estimate the appeal presented by Javier Pérez Dolset against the file of the case, as recorded in an order issued on December 18. They consider that, in the phase in which the investigations are currently being carried out, “it is appropriate to revoke the resolutions [de García-Castellón] and annul the dismissal, in order for the investigation to continue with the statement of Mr. Casals ”. “As this is the only person for whom, at the moment, there are indications of his possible participation in the facts under investigation.”

The clues surrounding the Atresmedia counselor come from a report by the Police Internal Affairs Unit, prepared in October 2019. The agents pointed out that, based on the papers seized from the plot, a certain “K” had made the commission to Villarejo. This character, who cannot be identified, wanted to go on the offensive after “having suffered a series of alleged attacks of an economic, social, media and legal nature by the Pérez Dolset brothers”, the main shareholders of Grupo Zed and with a relevant stake also in Grupo Planeta.

“Among the documentation discovered is an economic study of the project,” stressed the researchers, who detailed that it consisted of a first phase of between 60 and 90 days, with an estimated cost of 275,000 euros and that its objective was to maneuver against the Pérez Dolset in favor of this K. According to the brothers’ appeal against the archive, Villarejo assured in his statement that Casals was behind that code name. The manager has great weight in Grupo Planeta, where the confrontations between both parties allegedly arose.

Data commercialization

In this piece 18, crimes of bribery and the discovery and revelation of secrets are investigated. The documentation found by the agents about Brod, according to the Hearing, “shows” that Villarejo traded with confidential data of “individuals who were not being the object of official investigation”, to which he accessed thanks to his status as an official of the National Police Corps. Among his victims were the Pérez Dolsets.

The magistrates of the Criminal Chamber admit that the investigating judge, at the time of filing this part of the case, appreciated that there are not “sufficient evidence to attribute the responsibility of the bribery crime to the persons indicated” by Pérez Dolset. But in turn, to argue the reopening, they detail that in a second order by García-Castellón it is concluded that “there are elements to attribute to Mauricio Casals the authorship of the commission a. Villarejo ”. “Once the existence of indications that there was a commission by said person to a public official of services proper to his function, for private purposes, there is no reason not to continue with the investigation,” says the court in its resolution of this Dec. 18.

“As we have said, the fact that they did not mediate payments would not exclude the crime of bribery that could have been committed through said commission. And neither does the discovery and disclosure of secrets, which could derive from access to restricted data or its dissemination, in the course of the provision, however incipient, of those services “, concludes the Third Section.

Casals was already investigated in 2017 by the National Court within the framework of the Lezo case, one of the causes of corruption that surrounds the PP of the Community of Madrid and for which the former regional president Ignacio González has been prosecuted. The judicial body finally dismissed him a few months later, considering that he had not “managed” to pressure Cristina Cifuentes, who later arrived at the head of the regional government, so that he would not denounce Edmundo Rodríguez Sobrino, CEO of the publishing company of The reason and former director of Canal de Isabel II, for embezzlement in the purchase of a company in Brazil by this public company from Madrid.

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