The judge of the National Court Manuel García-Castellón has proposed to try the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, his partner Rafael Redondo and three police officers —Enrique García Castaño, Constancio Riaño and Antonio Bonilla—, as well as two other people, for the investigation carried out on the Marbella businessman Felipe Gómez Zotano, reports Europa Press.
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The head of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 has put an end to the investigations into separate piece 8 of the Tandem macrocause, known as the piece ‘Marbella’, where he was investigating the order that Marzena Katarzina would have made to Villarejo in 2015 about Gómez Zotano with the objective of drawing up a legal strategy that would allow him to recover money that he claimed from the businessman for a real estate dispute.
The magistrate believes that there are indications to try Villarejo, Redondo and the lawyer David Macías González for a crime of passive bribery; to Katarzina, for active bribery; and to García Castaño, Riaño, Bonilla and Redondo, for discovering and revealing secrets. At the same time, the instructor has agreed to the provisional dismissal of the case regarding the former Deputy Director of Operations (DAO) Eugenio Pino, the police officers Juan José Díaz Álvarez and José María Serrano Ydígoras, as well as for Juan Carlos Escribano.
In the case of the former Chief of Police with the Government of Mariano Rajoy, the judge has not appreciated “any criminal act in his conduct.” “From the proceedings carried out, neither his participation nor his knowledge of the investigated facts is extracted,” he stated. As for Escribano, he has limited his involvement in them to the fact that he was the person who recommended Katarzina to go to Villarejo to resolve his contractual dispute with the employer, but “he did not carry out any additional act”, so he understands that their participation was “incidental”.
The real estate dispute
The background of the matter is a real estate transaction that occurred in 2008 that has Gómez Zotano and Katarzina as protagonists. The woman would have given him 700,000 euros to buy a villa in the Malaga town under certain conditions. But the business did not materialize. According to her, because the businessman scammed her, and, according to him, because she did not meet the agreed conditions to complete the sale and purchase transaction.
According to the order signed by García-Castellón, Katarzina contacted the law firm Stuart & MCkenzie de Villarejo in the summer of 2015 to initiate a joint civil and criminal strategy against Gómez Zotano in order to recover the money. For this, the Cenyt Group, owned by Villarejo, prepared a report on the employer where his person, his family environment, his professional career, his assets, his companies and his financial situation were examined, and indications of tax fraud and money laundering were pointed out. of capital in its performance. This dossier, initialed on September 7, 2015 by Redondo, was subsequently used in the legal actions taken by Katarzina against Gómez Zotano.
For the preparation of the report, the judicial brief indicates, databases and records that are not accessible to the public were used, thanks to the intervention of the police officers investigated. At that time, Villarejo was an active commissioner and there was no police investigation to justify Gómez Zotano’s request for data, hence the bribery crimes observed by the magistrate.
Specifically, García-Castellón has detailed that to prepare the report the DNI database was accessed and, once the identification document of the employer was obtained, it was used to enter the database of the Centralized Body (OCP) of Prevention of Money Laundering of the General Council of Notaries. To enter the first, the personal password of Díaz Álvarez, then chief inspector of the General Information Commission (CGI), was used and, to consult the OCP, that of Serrano Ydígoras, also chief inspector in the same police station, was used. even though they were both on vacation at the time.
The judge concludes that, although it was accessed with their personal passwords, other people did so on the orders of García-Castaño, then head of the Central Unit for Operational Support (UCAO), who would have given them “informally”, “without following no protocol to that effect “, based on a prior request from Villarejo. And this, the instructor reasons, because “there was the practice, for functional reasons and internal operation of the unit, that personal access codes were known and used by various police officers.” Even if it had been them, he argued, they would have done so following orders from their superiors and without knowing what the data was required for. Therefore, he has filed the case for both.
Once the personal data of Gómez Zotano had been obtained, the judicial account continues, Riaño –another chief inspector of the CGI-, following the instructions of the head of the UCAO, sent them by email to Bonilla, who at that time was in a situation second activity in the National Police working for Cenyt. The latter, sent all the information to Redondo in another ’email’.
Rule out extortion
García-Castellón rules out the crime of extortion, which he also investigated in this separate piece, by not appreciating any act of violence or intimidation against the employer to carry out or omit a legal act or business to the detriment of his property or that of a third party . It also leaves out of this procedure the events that occurred prior to 2015, when it has been proven that Katarzina contacted Villarejo, because it has not been possible to prove, at the indictor level, that they are related to it.
These are the thefts that Gómez Zotano denounces that he suffered in his home and in a hotel and office of his property in 2013 and 2014, and the alleged non-consensual access to several telecommunication terminals of the businessman. Gómez Zotano, according to the order, argues that it would not be possible to link any of these events to ‘Tándem’ because the police investigations on them would have been “deficient” due to a “police plot” that would have precisely that purpose.