The investigative commission on Operation Kitchen, which investigates the political and police espionage of former PP Treasurer Luis Bárcenas during the Mariano Rajoy governments, will not end this June, as planned. The parliamentary inquiries will last at least until the end of 2021. This has been agreed by the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, which have the majority in the body that controls the commission, after the judge who instructs the case on these events in the National Court imputed this Wednesday to the former secretary general of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, and her husband, Ignacio López del Hierro, for having allegedly mediated for the operation with the commissioner José Manuel Villarejo.
Face to face between Podemos and the policemen who maneuvered so that it did not reach the Government in 2016
The decision will take place next Tuesday, but it has already been made. Parliamentary sources consulted by elDiario.es assure that the decision of Judge Manuel García-Castellón, which occurred eight months after the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requested it and on the same day that Cospedal was summoned to testify before the commission, has caused the change of the calendar. In fact, the imputation He caught López del Hierro in the middle of the interrogation of the deputies.
The step taken by García Castellón, and its coincidence with Cospedal’s parliamentary summons, provoked the reaction of the parliamentary groups, who they chose to suspend the statement of which it was number two of Mariano Rajoy in the PP and Defense Minister in their governments.
A day later, the table of the investigation commission, the body that directs it, met to propose modifications in the agreed work plan that will be ratified next Tuesday. The decision has the support of the PSOE and United We Can, and with the rejection of the PP.
The commission will thus continue its work this summer, instead of completing its work on June 30, as planned. This causes the appearances of Rajoy and of his former Interior Minister, Jorge Fernández, to be suspended sine die. The PSOE and United We Can had planned that both were the last testimonies that Congress collect for its investigation, so logic indicates that they will also be summoned at the end of the new extended period, which everything indicates that it will go until December. Also the appearance of Cospedal suspended yesterday will be rescheduled as the one immediately prior to that of the former head of the Executive.
PSOE sources maintain that the accusation issued by the judge on Wednesday “opens a new phase” and shows that “they were not only Interior charges”, but “the PP”, those who were involved or, at least, had knowledge of the facts investigated judicially and parliamentarily.
After the holidays, in addition, the two parties that lead the investigation will propose to extend the appearances. On the one hand, to call to declare some of the people who have already paraded through Congress before the “contradictions” between their testimonies. But you can also open the range and reconsider some of the requests that were rejected. United We can raised from the beginning the need to summon the president of the PP, Pablo Casado, who was part of the national leadership of the PP during the years of police espionage to Luis Bárcenas and who achieved the leadership of the party in 2018 with the support of Cospedal .
The PSOE refused then and United We can remove the name from the list so as not to interfere with the agreement. Now, however, the socialists’ discourse is close to that of their government allies. This Thursday the spokesman in the Senate, Ander Gil, assured that Casado “knew something” and that “something will have to say.”