The signs to jump the red line of the PP are not “unequivocal”, by Ernesto Ekaizer

  • The National Court agrees with Judge García Castellón, confirms the file for María Dolores de Cospedal and opens the way to the bench for former Minister Fernández Díaz and ten other defendants

The third section of the Criminal Court of the National Court has confirmed this Wednesday, April 20, the closure of the investigation of the ‘kitchen case’ (‘kitchen’ in English), an operation mounted by the Ministry of the Interior and the Police between 2013 and 2016 to spy on and kidnap, behind the back of the ongoing judicial proceedings, documents allegedly compromising the then President of the Government, Mariano Rajoyand the PP, held by the party’s former national treasurer, Luis Barcenaswho accumulated a fortune of up to 48.2 million euros in Switzerland and kept the organization’s B accounts for 20 years.

The magistrates have ratified the decision of the judge Manuel Garcia Castellonhead of the central court of instruction number 6 of the National High Court, to file the case for the then general secretary of the PP, Maria Dolores de Cospedaland her husband, Ignacio Lopez del Hierro for considering that some of the evidence to put them on the bench “is not an unequivocal indication of participation in the facts investigated & rdquor ;.

Very relevant positions

The order opens, therefore, the way to the bench, the oral trial, of eleven people with relevant positions at that time: the Minister of the Interior, Jorge Fernandez Diaz; the secretary of state Francis Martinez; Deputy Director of Police Operations Eugene Pinethe commissioners Joseph Villarejo, Joseph Louis Olivera, Marcelino Martin Blas, Enrique Garcia Castano Y Andres Gomez Gordo and the cops Bonifacio Diez Y Jose Angel Fuentes Gago and the driver from Bárcenas, Sergio Rioscaptured by the plot to undertake their alleged crimes.

That plot consisted of turning the leadership of the Interior and the Police into a branch of the PP aimed at preventing the possible crisis of the Rajoy Government as a result of potentially destructive documents for the organization. Kitchen is piece number seven of the almost thirty of the Villarejo puzzle.

The third criminal section had to rule on 13 appeals filed by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Officethe popular accusations and the defenses of the defendants in September 2021 against the order to close the investigation issued by the judge on July 29, 2021.

The computer bug

However, those resources did not reach the room. Then the commissioned magistrate by lot, John Charles Fieldformer Minister of Justice reinstated in his career, had to abstain and, finally, an alleged computer failure once again delayed their resolution. On March 18, a date for deliberation and voting was set. the magistrate Ana Maria Rubio has been the rapporteur magistrate.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office filed an appeal questioning the closure “surprise & rdquor; and “in false & rdquor; of the instruction of Judge García Castellón. The prosecutors wanted to extend the investigation because they considered that the evidence against Cospedal and López del Hierro should be subjected to further investigation.

They recognized that the accredited interest of both for the kitchen operation it was not possible to conclude with maintaining his imputation. “From this interest to the knowledge and political sponsorship of the Kitchen operation there is, indeed, a stretch that is not indirectly supported with the roundness reflected by the evidence obtained about the police plot and in the field of crime. Ministry of Interior& rdquor ;, they pointed.

An “unacceptable” line

And then, they characterized what they believed was Judge García Castellón’s point of view: “But what it seems is that this step is not wanted to be taken, there is a resounding refusal in that direction, as if a cordon or unacceptable red line that could not be transferred in the investigation & rdquor ;. It is rare to find in a report from the Public Prosecutor a reproach so clear and meridian of the investigating judge.

The third section of Criminal Law has given multiple signs that it does not consider Judge García Castellón’s system of instruction to be a model to follow, through resolutions that have overturned a large part of its records by admitting appeals.

In this case, the rapporteur develops a detailed analysis of all the points of the 90-page letter from the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. And his conclusion of the evidence differs from the prosecutors. She considers, for example, that a conversation between the police officers (Villarejo, Olivera, Adrián de la Joya) where they refer to ‘Cospe’ (María Dolores de Cospedal) and López del Hierro “is not a unequivocal sign of the participation of María Dolores de Cospedal and Ignacio López del Hierro in the facts investigated ”- They point out that the annotations and messages provided are not “sufficient evidence either, since they are weakened by the testimonies of those investigated…”.

State Operation

The 13 appeals filed have been dismissed. Now Judge García Castellón will have to offer all the parties the possibility of presenting their indictments to dictate the order to open the oral trial.

Kitchen’s investigation began with a police report on October 30, 2018 and the initiation of investigative proceedingsn took place on November 7, 2018.

Related news

Three and a half years of investigation until the judge issued his order to transform the preliminary proceedings into an abbreviated procedure (equivalent to self processing in the ordinary procedure) on July 29, 2021 has been considered by the third section of Criminal Matters as sufficient for the investigation.

Although the aforementioned delay in resolving the appeals has contributed to blurring the case -what happens with criminal proceedings that last for many years until the oral trial-, both for the high ranks who will sit on the bench as for the crimesit is one of the state operations most spectacular in recent political and criminal history.