The delegate of the Generalitat in Geneva, Manuel Manonelles, has been prosecuted for the crimes of embezzlement, disobedience and prevarication by the court of instruction number 13, which investigates former senior officials of the Government and businessmen for their participation in the preparations of the referendum of
Yesterday, Manonelles, along with three high charges also prosecuted, appeared before the judge Alejandra Gil for an investigative statement, although they refused to answer any questions. This is the current director general of Institutional Relations and former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Aleix Villatoro; the director of services of the same department, Marta Garsaball; and the director of Serveis de Polítiques Digitals, Teresa Prohias, the only one that chose to testify before the magistrate. All of them are related to the external action of the Government, which hired international observers for 1-O and paid announcements for the dissemination of the Catalan registry abroad.
The magistrate points out that the delegate promoted the hiring of a company worth 172,400 euros
The judge considers that the delegate of the Generalitat in Switzerland allocated public funds to “defend, publicize or promote 1-O”. In a car, the magistrate said that the delegate promoted the hiring of a company worth 172,400 euros to publicize “the position of Catalonia abroad”, as well as the “democratic will of the people of Catalonia to decide their future” and justified its hiring under the generic concept of “having assistance and momentum in the field of global challenges and trends”. The services of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies, a group of experts whose headquarters is based in the Netherlands, were also hired. The Court of Auditors said in a report that the Government allocated two payments to this institution. One of 123,500 euros, before the approval of the Referendum law of September 6, 2017, and another of 61,750 euros after the vote was held, on October 2. This hiring "was outside the competence of the delegate" and "exceeded the competence framework of the Generalitat", underlines the order. In addition, the same letter indicates that the fact of hiring a Dutch company from Geneva allowed to avoid administrative control and gave the process a greater "laxity and discretion."