April 11, 2021

The Prosecutor’s Office appeals the acquittal of Cifuentes for the Master’s case and requests a repetition of the trial


The Prosecutor’s Office has appealed the ruling of the Provincial Court of Madrid that acquitted Cristina Cifuentes of the crime of falsification in an official document for the Master’s case and asks to repeat the trial in a letter that questions the assessment of the evidence made by the court. The Public Ministry, which requested three years and three months in prison for the former president of the Community of Madrid, requests that this resolution be annulled, understanding that it omits in an “irrational” and “incongruous” manner the “multiple indications” that emerged in the five trial sessions. And it urges the holding of a new oral hearing due to the lack of “rationality and logic” in the motivation that makes the sentence on the role that the former regional president played in the falsification of the minutes of her master’s thesis.

The court of the Master's case acquits Cifuentes but condemns his advisor and a teacher

The court of the Master’s case acquits Cifuentes but condemns his advisor and a teacher

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The letter in which the prosecutor Pilar Santos Echevarría announces the appeal before the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid argues that the assessment of the evidence embodied in the sentence is “irrational, illogical, arbitrary, incoherent and insufficient” and reiterates that there is a ” patent deficit ”in their motivation. According to the Public Ministry, the “consistency” of “multiple indications” confirms that Cifuentes “promoted”, “suggested” and “pressured” in an “effective and intentional way” for the falsification of the defense act of the Master’s Final Project ( TFM) with which he tried to justify that he had defended that work after the revelation of elDiario.es about his irregular graduate degree.

The Provincial Court of Madrid, however, considered that the former Madrid president had no role in the preparation of that document and acquitted her. “Nothing has been proven as to what prompted, suggested or pressured for the falsification of the document,” says the sentence, which adds that the “legitimate suspicions” that may exist have not become “sufficient evidence” to justify their responsibility. This case ended the political career of Cifuentes, who was forced to resign.

The prosecutor recognizes the “absence of direct evidence” on Cifuentes’ guilt, but believes that, given this gap, the Chamber should have analyzed “exhaustively” the material indicating the charge to rule out his participation in the facts, especially when the The judgment itself recognizes the existence of the aforementioned “suspicions”.

“Cifuentes held a position of great importance, and, therefore, his way of proceeding had to be correct in the eyes of the media and the public; therefore, the evidence to be assessed is not obvious, nor crude, but rather veiled and concealed, but they are there and discarding them requires a motivation from the Court, which is not carried out “, maintains the Public Ministry, which insists on the existence of evidence” of notorious incriminating meaning ”that were ignored,“ even to discard them ”by the Chamber and that, furthermore, are“ true ”.

“Incompatible”

In this sense, the prosecutor Santos Echevarría considers that the acquittal of Cifuentes is “incompatible” with the facts that the court did consider proven in the case of the convicted María Teresa Feito – the regional government adviser who pressed for an alibi that rid Cifuentes of the scandal – and “breaks with the logic of his way of proceeding.” The sentence considers it to be accredited that Professor Cecilia Rosado, the other convicted in this trial, falsified the document after being “required” by this advisor, an official on leave of absence from the URJC, who was the one who told her to state that Cifuentes “had defended the TFM on July 2, 2012 “.

The “anomalous” conduct of the advisor, sentenced to three years in prison, draws the attention of the prosecutor, who affirms that an “alternative explanation” for her actions is “difficult” that “is not that the influence to act of this [en alusión a Cifuentes] it was so intense that it led her to commit a crime ”.

Santos Echevarría also refers to the “exhaustive knowledge” that Feito had of the teaching data of Cifuentes. Specifically, from the date of the TFM minutes. “If this date was provided by Feito, it would be logical to infer that it was provided either by Cifuentes herself or by her secretary, at her request,” says the prosecutor, who at the same time emphasizes that it was not possible to give any date, given the agenda of the then government delegate in Madrid. “If a specific date is provided, it is because it was known and it was assumed that the relevant document was being drawn up to prove that there was a defense of the TFM,” the letter states.

The prosecutor also makes the court ugly for having ignored one of the most forceful statements made by Professor Rosado in the trial and that point directly to the former president. According to the teacher, in one of the calls with Feito on March 21, 2018, the day that elDiario.es uncovered the scandal of the false master, she expressly told him “If this is not solved, Cifuentes is going to cut off your head”. “Nor is it explained why such an indication is discarded, which also implies that the defendant Cristina Cifuentes dominate the act,” the appeal says.

Another of the “incriminating evidence” against Cifuentes, in the prosecutor’s opinion, is the finding that the former president was the “sole or main beneficiary of the falsehood,” since when the scandal broke The reputation of the URJC was not in question, something that happened later in the investigation phase. In his opinion, the then Minister of Education, Rafael Van Grieken, did not adjust to reality when in the trial he stated that if he made calls and actively intervened, it was because the prestige of the University was in question since neither he as a counselor made any act or statement to support the University, nor did Cifuentes in his video make any reference to it. “Everything had a single and exclusive reason for being: to save, in any event, the reputation of the president,” says Santos Echevarría.

Among those indications “of notorious incriminating meaning” not valued, the prosecutor also refers to the direct request that Cifuentes made to the rector of the URJC for the documentation proving that he had completed the master’s degree or the interest of the former president in obtaining that documentation “knowingly “That it was irregular. In this sense, the Prosecutor’s Office recalls that it has not held responsible or requested the condemnation of the “environment” of Cifuentes. “How to do it without being able to individualize each behavior?” However, “the fact that the repeated calls and requests were made by the Ministry of Education and from the Cabinet of the Presidency, reinforces the causal relationship with whoever needed that to save her political career: Cristina Cifuentes.”

The prosecutor also criticizes that the sentence obviates the “relationship” that existed between Cifuentes, Feito and Amalia Calonge, the official who in 2014 modified “irregularly” two notes in the file of the former president despite the fact that she did not have powers to access to the computer system and make that change. Santos Echevarría gives relevance to this performance and to the fact that both accompanied Cifuentes when in 2017 he went to the URJC to collect his master’s degree. “If the two officials acted, it was because Cifuentes asked them to do so, this being, once again, the only beneficiary of such irregularities,” concludes the prosecutor.

As the last aspect not valued, the prosecutor mentions the video that the former Madrid president recorded and that she posted on her Twitter account on March 21, 2018 where she exhibited all the documentation that supposedly justified that she had obtained that title on a regular basis. The Prosecutor’s Office starts from the idea that Cifuentes tried to obtain the documentation “of an event that did not take place” and that the only possible channel “was to make whatever was necessary to create the appearance of regularity, and this implies falsifying.”

In this section, the appeal states that it was Cifuentes herself who exhibited a document as “more than evident” evidence that on July 2, 2012, a court made up of three teachers —Cecilia Rosado, Alicia López de los Mozos and Clara Suoto— their public defense was rated remarkable. However, the Prosecutor’s Office replies that such an assertion “did not correspond to reality” since said court never met as “so stated” in the trial by the three teachers.

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