The head of the Court of Instruction number 46 of Madrid, José María Escribano, has opened proceedings against the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, to investigate whether, as reported by a lawyer from Podemos, he used a person paid by the party as caregiver of his children. The magistrate made this decision a week before the elections in the Madrid Community - the order is dated April 27 - and without having jurisdiction to do so, since Montero is calibrated and can only be investigated by the Supreme Court.
The judge in the 'Neurona case' orders an investigation into whether an adviser from Podemos worked as a caregiver for Irene Montero's children
In the resolution, advanced by The confidential and to which elDiario.es has had access, cites the adviser, Teresa Arévalo, as being investigated for an alleged crime of unfair administration on July 14, and orders the release of office to the Commissariat of the Congress of Deputies to notify Montero the opening of the procedure. Arévalo currently works as a deputy to the Cabinet Directorate in the Ministry of Equality but the alleged facts under investigation refer to a previous time, when she worked at Podemos.
Formation sources maintain that it is "another cause based on falsehoods, which will be shelved but which serves to generate headlines against United We Can four days before voting in an election." The minister's chief of staff, Amanda Meyer, who in a message on Twitter regretted that a judge wants to "go into the campaign" with a "bad car" and an "impossible crime" has also spoken about it. "Without rules when it comes to going against United We Can. I am proud of my minister, Irene Montero, and of the assistant to the Directorate of the Cabinet, Teresa Arévalo, an essential one," she assured.
The judge also calls as witnesses five days later, on July 19, the party manager, Rocío Esther Val, the treasurer, Daniel de Frutos, and the head of Security, Víctor Martins. Subsequently, he will question as witnesses the complainant of these alleged events, the lawyer Mónica Carmona, and a former employee, Elena González.
The one initiated by the magistrate Escribano is one of the three “independent procedures” that the judge investigating Podemos, Juan José Escalonilla, asked to open so that the alleged irregularities denounced by Carmona, former head of Podemos Regulatory Compliance, could be investigated. Escalonilla urged that these investigations be opened in independent procedures to avoid "delay" in the processing of the so-called 'Neurona case' and not in separate pieces within it, as requested by the Prosecutor's Office, which considered that a "pronouncement" on those facts was necessary to see if they were "criminal" and if they should be investigated.
The proceedings fell by distribution in the court of Escribano, which agreed to initiate a procedure when it understood that the denounced facts "present characteristics that make presume the possible existence of a criminal offense. Consequently, it agrees to open preliminary proceedings to "practice those essential aimed at determining the nature and circumstances of the event, as well as the people who participated in it."
In his letter to Judge Escalonilla, Carmona denounced, among other matters, that Montero "used a person in the pay of the party, Mrs. Teresa Arévalo, as a caregiver for his children, which, in addition to being contrary to the most elementary ethical norms , could be constitutive of an act of unfair administration of the patrimony of the party ".
Last March, the Social Court number 1 of Granollers sentenced Podemos to reestablish Carmona's working hours - to which he reduced his working time by half in December 2019 - and to pay him the part of the salary he has left. to perceive since then, but denied that she was retaliated against for her alleged investigation on the alleged irregularities in the party. Carmona, who is still paid by Podemos in Catalunya although he has been absent for more than a year, has promoted together with the lawyer Jose Manuel Calvente the complaints that have given rise to the 'Neurona case', which keeps the party charged.
However, this cause has been thinning in recent months with the closure of several of the lines of investigation. In January, the judge closed the line of investigation on the reform of the new party headquarters and on the alleged crime of revealing secrets and violation of privacy that the lawyer had also denounced. Previously, in October, the judge had closed another of the lines of investigation of this cause, the one relating to the alleged irregularities in four party contracts with the Portuguese consultancy ADB Europa corresponding to the generals of 2019.
Investigations are still open on the contract with the consulting firm Neurona for those same elections; about the 'solidarity fund', a fund to which party leaders make donations and which ordered the reopening of the Madrid audience; and on the alleged bonuses, which Escalonilla also reopened just a few days ago at the proposal of Vox and against the Prosecutor's Office.