On July 17, 2013, just two days after Luis Bárcenas, PP treasurer, starred before Judge Pablo Ruz in the most explosive confession of democracy about 20 years of corruption in his party, high-ranking police officers urgently planned an operation illegal to avoid more damage to the Government of Mariano Rajoy.
That confession by Bárcenas left some questions unanswered about the existence of recordings or more documentary evidence of the corruption of the PP. And the police commissioners with more power, encouraged by their political heads of the Interior, began to look for these new indications so that they did not reach the investigating magistrate, according to the judicial investigation.
Those dark maneuvers, known as Operation Kitchen, have triggered the indictment of half a dozen police officers and the two main political leaders of the Interior at that time, the Minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the Secretary of State, Francisco Martínez.
The judge who instructs the case accumulates numerous indications of those supposedly criminal activities. But now Villarejo’s agendas, seized last October in one of the commissioner’s homes, have uncovered new evidence to shore up all the suspicions.
Jorge Fernández Díaz, one of the ministers most loyal to then-President Mariano Rajoy, was aware of the entire police plan to search for the secrets that Bárcenas had not yet confessed to the judge. To demonstrate this fact, Francisco Martínez, number two of the Interior, drew up a notarized record of the telephone messages sent by the minister about the illegal operation underway.
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, it was already known that the following Monday Bárcenas was going to pull the blanket before the judge. That Saturday, the minister sent this message to his secretary of state: “Driver B: Sergio Javier Ríos Esgueva (now he performs that function with the woman). It is important”. Bárcenas’ driver, Sergio Ríos, was a key part of the entire police plot because he became a police confidante to find out what the former treasurer could keep.
But the minister maintained before the judge that he never sent that message nor did he know or order any police operation to steal documentation from Bárcenas that could compromise the PP and the Government of Mariano Rajoy. However, the notebooks found in a search run by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office in Villarejo’s house now support Martínez’s version and compromise the Interior Minister.
The following summarizes two weeks of Villarejo’s agenda since July 17, 2013, two days after Bárcenas’ explosive confession before the judge and four days after the Interior Minister allegedly alerted his number two to the key role that the Bárcenas family chauffeur could play.
July 17, 2013. “About recording LB. Driver slope ”. Enrique García Castaño, then chief commissioner of the Central Operational Support Unit (UCAO), which is in charge of the illegal espionage operation against Bárcenas, as he himself has confessed, speaks with his partner José Manuel Villarejo. This curator notes in his agenda for that day under the name BIG, with which he called García Castaño: “On recording LB – pending conductor LB. Crisis cabinet. Follow-up to see where the issues are ”.
The recruitment of the driver as a police informant was still pending. García Castaño had approached the driver without much success. And Villarejo registered it in his diary.
July 18, 2013. “Forcing contact with the LB driver” Villarejo points out in his agenda a key to get Bárcenas’ driver to collaborate in Operation Kitchen. The key is called Andrés Gómez Gordo, a trusted policeman from Dolores de Cospedal, who has appointed him general director in Castilla-La Mancha. Villarejo writes: “ANDRES GÓMEZ the driver SERGIO has turned to tell him that they have approached him.” That same day, Villarejo supposedly spoke with Ignacio López del Hierro, Cospedal’s partner, and wrote: “He is in charge of speaking with ANDRES GORDO.” At the same time, Commissioner Villarejo registers another conversation with the number two of the Ministry of the Interior, Francisco Martínez: “Forcing contact with the driver LB. I agree to close the meeting ”.
July 22, 2013. “CHEF. At first suspicious. Later more receptive ”. Villarejo boasted to the judge of his success by capturing Bárcenas’ driver as a confidant after García Castaño’s failure to convince him. And so he writes it down in his diary: “SERGI CHEF. At first suspicious. After he has been more receptive. I will give you 2000 tomorrow and phone. Then everything else. ”
The judicial investigation has discovered and credited with documents the payment of 2,000 euros a month to Bárcenas’ driver for two years for his collaboration. That money came from the Interior’s reserved funds item. Villarejo put the name of CHEF or COOK to name Sergio Ríos in his notes. Just three days after that entry, he writes another: “CHEF. Last call Time to reactivate everything. From now on everything OK ”.
July 22, 2013. “CHISCO. Very concerned about CHEF data ”. Chisco is the name that Villarejo uses in his notes to identify Secretary of State Francisco Martínez. Talk to Villarejo and he notes:
“Very concerned about CHEF data. On recordings currently in his possession ”. Bárcenas may have recorded recordings with leaders of the PP on the illegal financing of the party. But they haven’t found them yet. Three days after that conversation, Martínez spoke to Villarejo again and the commissioner notes that the Interior Minister is very interested in talking about receipts and recordings, the two pieces of evidence that, if they exist, could sink the Rajoy government.
July 30, 2013. “Systematic calls from the minis about LB”. On July 30, just two days before the President of the Government goes to Parliament harassed by the scandal of the illegal financing of his party and the judicial confession of Bárcenas, the number two of the Interior speaks again with Villarejo, who thus collects his concern: “Systematic calls from the minis about LB”.
Villarejo portrays in his agenda a hectic month for the future of the Government of Rajoy and the PP. Other evidence uncovered during the investigation supports the veracity of what was collected in the commissioner’s agendas.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.