The communication manager of We can, Juanma del Olmo; the finance one, Daniel de Frutos; and two other positions of the party have defended before the judge the contract signed with Neurona for 28A, ensuring that the jobs were done correctly and the payments to third parties of this company were not its competence.
Together with the match manager, Rocio Val; and the purchasing manager, Andrea Deodato; Del Olmo and De Frutos have attended this Friday first thing in the morning to the Madrid courts of Plaza de Castilla to testify as defendants before the magistrate who investigates the alleged irregularities reported by the former training attorney José Manuel Calvente.
All party officials have closed ranks around the legality of the contract that Podemos signed with Neurona Consulting for the 2019 general elections, they have assured that the services were carried out normally and have thus been accredited, according to EFE legal sources this Friday.
What Neurona did afterwards with the money received exceeded their competence and they did not have to be aware of it, they have pointed out when asked about various payments that the subsidiary of this company in Spain -Neurona Comunidad SL- would have made to the company Creative Advice Interactive, based in Dallas.
The magistrate believes that “there are rational indications” that the payments made by Podemos to the Neurona company “They were not intended to pay for any service provided by said merchant “for the 28A elections,” qualifiable as electoral expense. ”
Del Olmo, Director of Strategy and Communication in the Second Vice Presidency of the Government and a close collaborator of Pablo Iglesias, has explained that he met Neurona from the hand of a manager, Cesar Hernandez, in 2018 when he was already secretary of communication and, once his services were hired, he only had dealings with four workers of the company.
On the accounts, De Frutos, then joint administrator of the coalition United we can For 28A, he said that they had the magnifying glass not to exceed the spending ceiling and confirmed that each of the two responsible for the electoral accounts valued the contracts separately, as his counterpart in IU, Carlos, told the judge Garcia Ramos.
He has pointed out, the sources explain, that he was not in charge of supervising one by one all the actions of the contracted service, but that he was aware because it was being carried out and that he always had a guarantee that the money was spent as budgeted.
Those investigated, who have declined to answer the popular accusations, have said that Neurona had its own equipment and They have downplayed the fact that the consultancy had hardly any registered personnel in Spain, and they have added, according to the sources, that it was one more supplier and that the important thing is that the work be done.
This contract is not the only aspect for which Podemos and its four charges are being investigated; the magistrate also inquires if there were irregularities in the award of the works of its new headquarters on Francisco Villaespesa Street, the Madrid district of Ciudad Lineal. According to Calvente’s complaint, these were tendered for 650,000 euros but the award was published for 1.3 million, and they also began before the contract was awarded.
Asked about this aspect, the investigated they have denied that there was any diversion of money, have explained that the first amount corresponded to estimates that later can always vary, and have stressed that both the tender and the reform work themselves have been credited in the case.
“All the complaints have been dismantled,” Podemos lawyer Gorka Vellé told the media, confident that “the doubts are absolutely dispelled” after the works have been accredited, while he has assured not to know if Neurona has made money payments to a company in Mexico. In any case, he pointed out, it would be the “concern” of this company.
Do not share this vision Vox, who exercises the popular accusation, for whom “the matter takes on more serious dyes for Podemos” as it is proven in his opinion that “Neurona continues to be a phantom company.”
This is what the training lawyer, Marta Castro, has said, that has underlined the “numerous contradictions” which De Frutos would have incurred and which he will now focus on César Hernández considering that he is “the key man” because “everyone has referred to him.”
The judge has also questioned as witnesses representatives of six companies related to the works of the Podemos headquarters, who have limited themselves to explaining what their work consisted of and how they were paid.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.