The police officer who knows the Gürtel and box B case best dismantled before the judge, in just twenty minutes, the thesis that the espionage of Luis Bárcenas was only intended to contribute to the investigations into the irregular financing of the Popular Party. Chief Inspector Manuel Morocho assured the Anti-Corruption Prosecutors and Magistrate Manuel García-Castellón that everything was done behind the back of the judge of Box B, himself and the rest of the UDEF agents designated by the National Court as judicial police of the case.
The National Court discovers new indications of payments in black to the PP in exchange for awards
The plan to pass as legal the operation to recover compromising evidence for leaders of the PP culminated in a maneuver by Andrés Gómez Gordo, the policeman who had formally stopped working with María Dolores de Cospedal in Castilla-La Mancha to return to active service and closely monitor the driver Sergio Ríos, the mole of the political brigade in the vicinity of Luis Bárcenas whom he had met years ago, when they both worked for Francisco Granados.
Gómez Gordo entered into a police database a series of indicators of the surveillance and monitoring work carried out within the framework of the operation to justify a “simple rehash of data” – according to the expression used by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office – previously obtained by the police of the Gürtel and Caja B.
This defense strategy of those investigated, trying to pass surveillance on Rosalía Iglesias as a legal operation, led the judge in the Villarejo case to ask the Ministry of the Interior to declassify and deliver any document that could be related to the maneuvers he was investigating.
The department directed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska did not find anything by the name of Kitchen, as this was the name with which Villarejo had informally baptized the operation because it said that Ríos looked like a cook.
But parts of surveillance did appear, payments with funds reserved for the driver, 700 euros for him to buy a pistol and other items that one of those investigated, Commissioner Enrique García Castaño, explained to the judge, such as the 1,200 euros of the laptop that they gave to the number two of Interior, Francisco Martínez, so that he could follow the development of this and other operations, according to the version of the police command.
The file chosen to enter these data was the one belonging to the GATI (Group for Analysis and Information Processing) of the Police. This database, which is referred to by the name of the group that manages it, is used to avoid doubled investigations within the Corps. The different units enter identities, license plates or telephones that they are monitoring and if other police officers have done it before, the system warns of the coincidence.
Two years after starting the operation
The bulk of Kitchen took place between the summer and fall of 2013, although there is evidence in the investigation that it lasted until 2015. In fact, the driver was charging 2,000 euros a month from the reserved funds for two years. It was on May 13, 2015, almost two years after the parapolice operation was launched, when Andrés Gómez Gordo, with his professional card, prepared the “Informative Part Investiga”, an internal document for the inclusion of data from a investigation in the Criminal Intelligence database.
Among these data there is information regarding the movements and contacts of Bárcenas, people, vehicles, meeting places, related companies and phone books. There are sections dedicated to the former treasurer himself, his wife, his children Guillermo and Ignacio, and others such as the alleged front man Javier Sánchez Lázaro and several implicated in the Gürtel case. The doubled investigations alert does not jump, however, until 2018.
In addition, Chief Inspector Morocho, the police commissioned to investigate the Gürtel and Caja B cases, concludes on this information that they are data that are already known (“in their substantial part they were already in the judicial procedure”) and that those that were not, from surveillance and follow-ups cannot be used in a judicial investigation because their origin is unknown and they are “disconnected data without intelligence value.” In his report, he clarifies that although the one who signs is Gómez Gordo, he was assigned to the Deputy Operational Directorate, the structure of the Police in which the political brigade created by Commissioner Eugenio Pino nested. One of those information, which Commissioner García Castaño would have obtained, would place Bárcenas’ hidden money in Krakow and the Netherlands Antilles. The information, true or not, never reached the judge in the case.
For his part, the magistrate of box B, José de la Mata, also concludes that the espionage of Bárcenas did not contribute to the investigation of the irregular financing of the PP but to the protection of the leaders of the party he was persecuting. In an April car, known with the latest lifting of the summary of box B, De la Mata considers that the allegedly corrupt policemen “fulfilled the objectives set by seizing documentation of the documents handwritten by Rosalía Iglesias and digital information recorded in a hard drive by Sergio Ríos Esgueva in conjunction with Andrés Gómez Gordo ”, the police officer in charge of materializing the attempted laundering of para-police espionage.
And in the same car, De la Mata condemns the attempted laundering of the operation to failure. “To hide that reality,” says the judge, “the investigation into the criminal intelligence system was brought out, incorporating elements that do not come from the actions carried out in order to justify carrying out an investigation of an economic nature, transferring responsibilities via coordination to the group of judicial police and to obtain the safeguard of the actions carried out by the intervening ones of the same ”.