The businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir once again gets rid of an accusation for illegally financing the Popular Party. The Criminal Chamber of the National Court has ordered the judge in the Punic case, Manuel García-Castellón, to file the case against Villar Mir in the Punic case because, among other reasons, “he did not hold any executive position” in the construction company that founded, OHL, when the alleged injections of black money to the PP of the Community of Madrid, then led by Esperanza Aguirre, took place for the electoral campaigns of 2007 and 2011.
Villar Mir, accused of biting the PP in Madrid: “I have stopped working in some communities due to corruption”
The Punic cause has a piece dedicated to the irregular financing of the Madrid PP, number 9. Villar Mir was charged in this and in another, number 8, on the irregularities in the award of the light rail project to the Madrid town of Boadilla from the Mount. In both cases, and against the criteria of the investigating judge and the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, three judges of the Criminal Chamber have considered that there is no evidence against the powerful businessman, a high-ranking position in the Franco regime. The three magistrates who sign the order are the conservatives Carmen Paloma González, Juan Francisco Martel and Fermín Javier Echarri.
“There is no data that corroborates the participation, knowledge or authorization of Mr. Villar Mir in these alleged donations, since as we have said, neither in 2007 nor in 2011, during which, supposedly the expense of In the electoral campaigns of the aforementioned political party in the Community of Madrid, he did not hold any executive position in OHL, without prejudice to the participation of another of those investigated, Mr. López Madrid, to whom he had a family relationship. No data, even indicative, allows to sustain the knowledge, and the consent of said actions “, agree the aforementioned magistrates.
In that piece of irregular financing of the Madrid PP, Javier López Madrid, currently CEO of the Villar Mir Group and husband of the daughter of Juan Miguel Villar Mir, is imputed, as stated in the previous paragraph. Convicted of the Caja Madrid black cards, López Madrid is close to the bench for harassment and threats to Dr. Elisa Pinto and has the status of being investigated in the National Court for ordering the stabbing of the woman to Commissioner Villarejo.
The Criminal Chamber recovers recent jurisprudence of the Supreme Court (judgment 756/2018) according to which “the mere fact of being sole administrator of a company or business group does not constitute sufficient information to attribute any criminal act that is perpetrated in the business environment ”. That same sentence clarifies that, in any case, “it must be understood that he has knowledge of the most relevant and repeated acts” within his company. The judges of the National High Court take this ruling as a reference and assure that Villar Mir was at the time of the events non-executive president of OHL and that the statutes of the company indicate that for a project to be consulted, it must exceed 60 millions of euros.
Near the end of the investigation, the judges of the Criminal Chamber consider that the filing of the case against Villar Mir is not a decision that “is considered premature or hasty, but quite the opposite, by eliminating the pendency of the condition of investigated of a subject whose only mere conjectures exist of an alleged participation in conduct of criminal relevance ”.
The Prosecutor’s Office had argued that Villar Mir had a direct impact on the events investigated in room 8, the train to Boadilla. The mayor of that town then reported in court that at the inauguration of the light rail in 2006, the businessman went to Esperanza Aguirre to ask her to “give him a hand” because, as he said, “the work was getting complicated”, thus as that “they had collaborated in what had been asked.” Against these indications the Chamber says that they have not been ratified throughout the investigation and insists that Villar Mir left the executive presidency of the company in April 2004 and that one of the beneficiaries through the UTE for the project, David Marjaliza, has disassociated Villar Mir from the events.
Villar Mir was indicted in the case of box B as twenty-one big businessmen who appeared in Bárcenas’ papers for injecting black money into the Popular Party. The case was filed for them in 2015 for lack of evidence to link money deliveries to awards from conservative-controlled administrations. The bribery investigation line has recently been reopened.
Last January, the judge García-Castellón filed the complaint against the former CEO of Indra and current non-executive chairman of Prisa and Openbank (digital subsidiary of Banco Santander) in the piece of irregular financing of the Madrid PP with the argument that the company statutes do not give rise to an “obligation of vigilance and control” to the president as the one that “was imposed” when he was summoned as being investigated. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office appealed, but the Criminal Chamber agreed with García-Castellón.