The Provincial Court of Madrid has definitively buried the judicial investigation on the ‘solidarity box‘from Podemos. The judges, in a resolution that cannot be appealed, have rejected the appeal of former senator Celia Cánovas supported by the far-right party Vox against Judge Escalonilla’s decision not to investigate whether there was any type of unfair administration in the management of this Fund due to part of the political party. The Hearing assures that “there is no evidence of a diversion of funds” and explains that Cánovas’ reproaches are more an internal matter of the operation of Podemos than a possible illegality.
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The failed case, one of the 7 that the judge opened about Podemos and its finances, was baptized by the opposition and the complainant as the ‘box B’ of the party that Pablo Iglesias was then leading. The complaint stemmed from the initial accusations of Jose Manuel Calvente, former party lawyer. Former senator Celia Cánovas, a Podemos parliamentarian in the upper house for Tarragona between 2016 and 2019, demanded that supposedly opaque outflows of money from the party’s Salary Fund to the 404 Association be investigated.
The court filed the case for the second time last July after the Provincial Court of Madrid encouraged the reopening of the case. At that time, the agency understood that it was necessary to investigate whether these money flows were set in motion to go beyond the limits of the party financing norm and, he said in a car, operate “outside the inspection activity of the Court of Accounts (…) for the benefit of some, to the detriment of the rest of the members of Podemos and of the social purposes to which the funds should be dedicated. ”
Now it is the same section of the Hearing that rejects all the resources and confirms that there was no crime in the management of those funds. The magistrates analyze the decision of Judge Escalonilla and the report of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) and conclude that there were no irregularities in the management of these funds: “there is no evidence of the existence of distraction of the funds received by the Podemos party addressed to their leaders “, says the Court making their own the arguments of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The judges recall, in a firm resolution, what the examining magistrate already said in his second case file: that the 30,000 euros and the other charges made in the account of the 404 Association “were strictly for the suffrage of expenses derived from carrying out activities corresponding to associative purposes.” Donations, explains the Hearing, are not prohibited: “There is no rule that prohibits donation to entity 404,” explains the order. The judges add: “None of its members holds an organic position or a directive role in the party.”
The magistrates understand that Cánovas’ allegations and his appeal are also more aimed at the internal functioning of the party but not at a possible illegality in the management of the funds of this’ solidarity fund ‘. “If the appellant considers that said regulation allows donations to be made, apparently without the control of whoever manages its funds, this is a matter that must be resolved as an internal matter of the political party through the mechanisms that, where appropriate, contemplate its statutes and internal regulations, and not through criminal law “, ditch the Provincial Court.
The investigation into the accounts and operation of Podemos emerged in 2020 after the statement by José Manuel Calvente, a former lawyer for the party. The 42nd court of the capital opened a multitude of separate pieces that have been archived until now, except for the one that has to do with the hiring of the consulting firm Neurona. Among the archived pieces are that of possible bonuses, the Impulsa Project or reform from the party headquarters.