May 15, 2021

The judge in the ‘Neurona case’ investigates whether an adviser from Podemos worked as a caregiver for Irene Montero’s children


The Madrid judge investigating Podemos, Juan José Escalonilla, has agreed to open three “independent procedures” to investigate the alleged irregularities denounced by the former party lawyer Mónica Carmona, according to a March 3 order to which elDiario has had access. is.

The Prosecutor's Office asks the judge of the 'Neurona case' to check if an adviser from Podemos worked as a caregiver for Montero's daughter

The Prosecutor’s Office asks the judge of the ‘Neurona case’ to check if an adviser from Podemos worked as a caregiver for Montero’s daughter

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The magistrate has agreed to open these three cases apart from the “Neurona case” to investigate the alleged use of “a person paid by the party” as caregiver of their children by the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero; the alleged collection by the Vice President of the Government Pablo Iglesias of the procedural costs in a case that lawyers and a solicitor paid by Podemos had won; and donations to two foundations close to the training, the Pablo Freire popular school and the 25M Foundation.

These alleged facts were brought to the attention of the court last February by Carmona, a lawyer fired from Podemos in December 2019. The magistrate considers that these are “new facts” that “could constitute a crime” and, therefore, should be investigated. “It is not possible to abstract from his complaint by returning said files to said witness, proceeding with his investigation,” he states in the resolution.

The judge agrees to open these investigations in independent procedures to avoid “delay in the processing of this procedure”, not in separate pieces within the ‘Neurona case’, as requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, which considered that a “pronouncement” on those facts was necessary to see “if they are criminal and should be investigated in the present proceeding.”

The complaint that José Manuel Calvente, who was also fired from Podemos, presented to the Civil Guard in December 2019 has led to a procedure in which the party is charged as a legal person and several high-ranking officials. Until now, Escalonilla’s investigations focused on the contract signed by the consulting firm Neurona and Podemos for the general elections of April 28, 2019 for 363,000 euros, suspecting that it could be a simulated contract to divert money from the party’s accounts.

In addition, recently the Madrid Court ordered to reopen the investigation into the so-called ‘solidarity fund’ of Podemos, considering that there are indications of unfair administration in this fund to which the party leaders make donations of their salaries to allocate them to social projects. Specifically, the transfer of 30,000 euros from that box to the 404 Popular Communication Association, linked to several members of the formation, is under suspicion. Calvent defined this fund as ‘box B’, a name also endorsed by the opposition parties.

The court, against the criteria of the Prosecutor’s Office, estimated the resources of Vox and Prolege and demanded that the judge proceed with the investigation that had closed last October. The Hearing affirms that it is “reasonable to think” that there is a “hidden subjective link” between the association and Podemos that could have been used to “obviate” the limitations of the party financing law and operate “outside of the inspection activity of the Court of Accounts ”.

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