His lawyer says he has been "a good witness." But that was not the condition for which the president of the SGAE, José Miguel Fernández Sastrón, went to the National Court Thursday: Judge Ismael Moreno called him to testify as an accused, to clarify his alleged involvement in the fraud the wheel of night music. "I am not linked to any plot of any kind," he argued, on the way out, to the press. Before, for about an hour, he also tried to convince the judge of it, in an interrogation "exhaustive", according to sources of the accusation.
Judge Moreno suspects that the wheel pocketed around one hundred million euros between 2006 and 2011: this is how a plot is known between SGAE members and television executives that generated bulky collections thanks to the music broadcasted in early morning programs, with barely audience. The case has led to several arrests and, to date, more than twenty charges, between musicians, producers and employees of chains such as TVE or Canal Sur. So much so that there were "about 25" lawyers, most of them defense, in the interrogations of today, according to sources present in the room. Sastrón appeared at first in the summary of the case as investigated, only police, by unfair administration. On September 12, Moreno also decided to impute him.
After the interrogation, the president of the SGAE assured that he did not feel "attacked at any time" and that most of the questions revolved around "technical issues" and issues "alien" to him. Believes that, with his statement, the judge sought above all to understand more thoroughly the functioning of the SGAE and its governing bodies, starting with the president himself.
Sources of the accusation nevertheless broaden the focus: they point out that Sastrón also had to answer about her eventual "direct participation" in the plot, the amount of her songs that was televised in the night slot and her role as manager, for years, in the entity. That is, if he was aware of what was happening, if he benefited from it, he favored it or, at least, tolerated it.
He was also asked about the origin of the votes that have raised him to the top of the SGAE. Critics have always argued that Sastrón won thanks to the support of the wheel, and the judge asked him for a telephone conversation where two researchers presumed to have "placed" the musician in the direction. "From a talk I have not been in, I can say little," he told the press. "Some lawyer from the COA private prosecution [Coalición Autoral, una asociación crítica] has tried to see if I get up in the morning and I eat a child, "he joked.
Basically, Sastron reiterated what he has already underlined on several occasions: he did "nothing illegal or irregular", and we should not confuse the possible fraudulent practices of a few with the tide of artists whose songs sound at night. The president of the SGAE does not even share the term "wheel" to refer to it, and defends that everything that happened was legal. In addition, he maintains that during his term of office, measures have been taken to stop or even solve the problem.
In it, Moreno seems to agree with him. In a ruling issued yesterday, the judge refused to impose on the SGAE the precautionary judicial administration, something that was specifically requested by COA's private accusation, since it would be a "disproportionate" measure and would mean "a general cause" against the management of the entity. Coalición Autoral studies to appeal the ruling, for which it has five days.
Meanwhile, the time clock also moves towards another deadline: the Ministry of Culture gave the SGAE three months to "comply with the law" and settle several internal issues, including a deal that attacks the benefits of the wheel, under intervention threat. The entity approved yesterday appeal the warning. He will decide, once again, justice.