Sunday, May 16

“There are more criminals within the Police than on the street”




It seems a lie, but the inspector Antonio Rodriguez, Former Chief of Narcotics at the Orense police station, he is eager to put on his uniform again. He has not done so since November 2015 when Internal Affairs agents arrested him and charged him with arms trafficking, drug trafficking, bribery, revealing of secrets, falsehood, embezzlement and coercion. The Prosecutor’s Office did not request his admission to prison but he was suspended from employment and salary and has been this way ever since.

Ten days ago he picked up the sentence of the Orensan Court that acquits him and three other policemen (also nine alleged traffickers) and on Monday of last week he asked for his reinstatement to his post. «I can distinguish between a policeman who did not know how to do his job and the police. I’ve been doing it for 26 years, ”he says in conversation with ABC. The Zamburiña operation, in which the Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) singled out his colleagues for favoring nine alleged drug traffickers, has turned out to be a complete fiasco.

The Chamber harshly questions the investigation and disfigures the numerous irregularities detected. In fact, the trial started and ended almost at the same time when the Second Section annulled the wiretapping on which the case that began in September 2014 was based. «The verification of the effectiveness of the conclusions of the police report, in order to make the questioned telephone intervention viable, does not withstand the slightest criticism », Says the sentence. The qualified facts of “Anomalies or irregularities” by Internal Affairs “they do not allow at all to deduce a trace of minimally serious police corruption,” he continues.

Gun theft and one dead

«A cause was set up based on the tapping of our telephones and on some anonymous assumptions, which were not such. In the records they found nothing and did not make a minimum check, “explains the inspector. La Zamburiña is an independent investigation, but like in novels there are plots and subplots to which more diabolical: a robbery of arms in the police station of Orense; the alleged suicide that is now being investigated as the homicide of a police officer in his office at that police station, and with him two of the weapons stolen months before. Some anonymous ones that point to the drug agents as part of a criminal plot that acted in collusion with their confidants round off the menu.

“There are more criminals within the Police than on the street,” says Inspector Rodríguez. The police station soap opera in which it serves seems to agree with him. But he points directly to the head of the Internal Affairs group, arrived from Madrid, “and who does not know even the most elementary working methods.” It explains what they are, including the usual protocols of the agents. And what for one is their day to day for others was equivalent to suspected corruption. “He had been in the Corps for two years and was already head of a group and of such a delicate unit.” Rodríguez has filed a complaint against him, which has not yet been admitted, in which he accuses him of “concealment, falsification of documents in reports and omission of the duty to prosecute crimes”

During the investigation in one of the anonymous posts it was clear that the person who sent him and pointed out his colleagues was also a police officer, but it was not investigated whether he was part of the alleged corrupt plot. They accused Rodríguez of stealing the weapons, although later two appeared in the dead agent’s office. The succession of events triggered what seemed like a suicide to be instructed by another judge as homicide and of that death she accuses two twins, Roy and Bernardo de Prado, posted at the police station.

Beatriz Seijo, the inspector’s lawyer, managed to get the Court to annul all the telephone interventions, the statements in investigation, the records and what was intervened on the first day of the trial. The Hearing was found without proof of charge and acquitted the 13 defendants, from whom the Prosecutor’s Office requested more than one hundred years in prison. Eight agents were identified.

Villarejo’s unit

Seijo asked the Court to determine if this investigation fiasco had been “carried out by a criminal”, a direct dart to Internal Affairs (the same unit that investigates the former commissioner Villarejo) and made public a more than compromising conversation between the group leader of that unit and the policeman suspected of sending the anonymous ones. Even more serious because they were meeting for “a clandestine meeting” with the investigating judge, Leonardo Alvarez, and they talked about “tweaking statements.”

Inspector Rodríguez suspects that the police brothers – “those are not colleagues” -, he says, wanted to take revenge on him and his family and, incidentally, cover up their corruption. And he insists: “I will always defend the Police, but not the criminals inside.”

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