The Madrid judge investigating Podemos, Juan José Escalonilla, concludes that there was no unfair administration in the party’s so-called ‘solidarity fund’, a kind of fund to which party leaders make donations of their salaries to allocate them to social projects . The instructor has agreed to dismiss the line of investigation on the supposed “opaque” outflow of funds from this box – which the opposition baptized as “box B” – the 404 Popular Communication Association.
The judge concludes that there are no irregularities in Podemos contracts with a Portuguese consultancy
The magistrate emphasizes that “there is no indication” that this association – registered in the National Registry of Associations – does not carry out the activity for which it was established, nor that said amounts received from Podemos, which may come from the Solidarity Fund, do not they are but to carry out said activity. According to its founding act, the association is dedicated to “communicating initiatives of the popular movement and defense of human rights”.
Last summer, the judge asked the Judicial Police to identify “the natural and legal person who under the name # 404 Popular Communication requested the amount of 55,000 euros from the Podemos Solidarity Fund.” He did so within the framework of the investigation into the accounts of the training opened as a result of the complaint of his fired lawyer, José Manuel Calvente, who told the judge that there were “people” saying that the funds in that box were handled in an opaque way and pointed to the deputy of Podemos Rafael Mayoral as the person who “de facto” moved that money.
After carrying out the entrusted procedures, the Judicial Police did not see any irregularities in the handling of these funds, which led the judge to dismiss that line of investigation. In addition, Escalonilla maintains that “it is not anomalous or strange” that the money collected in that fund is destined to “foundations or movements” close to Podemos and even – as in the case under investigation – formed by members of said parties who “develop activities those considered as eligible by said Solidarity Fund ”.
The judge recently closed another of the lines of investigation of this cause, the one relating to the alleged irregularities in four contracts of the party with the Portuguese consultancy ADB Europa corresponding to the general elections held in April 2019. He annulled the proceedings that he himself requested after receiving a report in which the Court of Auditors accredits that there are no irregularities in these contracts.