The Prosecutor's Office asks to close the investigation into the alleged illegal financing of Podemos

The Madrid Provincial Prosecutor's Office considers that "it is not appropriate" to extend the investigation into the alleged illegal financing of Podemos that the Madrid judge Juan José Escalonilla opened in the summer of 2020. In a letter dated this Thursday, January 27, the prosecutor Lorena Álvarez Taboada affirms that "beyond" the rogatory commissions to Mexico for the testimony of two witnesses ordered by the Provincial Court of Madrid "there are no other procedures to be carried out pending agreement" and that, therefore, the investigation of this case must be closed this Friday, when the deadline expires.

Justice confirms that there was no crime in the 'solidarity box' of Podemos

Justice confirms that there was no crime in the 'solidarity box' of Podemos

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In this regard, the prosecutor recalls that once it has been proven that the consulting firm Neurona did carry out work for Podemos During the April 2019 general election campaign, the only "necessary" diligence to be carried out, and which has already been agreed upon, is that relating to the expert opinion on these works to analyze whether the price paid was adequate, as agreed by the instructor.

The contract between Podemos and Neurona Comunidad SL for the April 2019 general elections amounted to 363,000 euros and is the center of the investigation that Judge Escalonilla has been carrying out for a year and a half following a complaint by the dismissed lawyer from Podemos José Manuel Calvente . For months, the magistrate expressed in various resolutions his doubts that this contract corresponded to services actually rendered and his suspicions that it could be "simulated."

But last November, after a multitude of interrogations of witnesses and defendants and several police reports, the judge considered it "incriminatingly accredited" that Neurona carried out at least part of those works, although he commissioned the aforementioned expert report. His thesis is that there can be an electoral crime not only when there is a "simulated contract", but also when public funds are used "to pay electoral expenses for a price greater than its real cost" with the aim of "distracting" part of the funds of the electoral accounts for a different purpose and "hiding said distraction by setting an excessive price, not real and not consistent with the services provided."

In the event that the judge agrees to the end of the investigation, the different parties will present their indictment or request to file the proceedings and the magistrate will decide whether to issue an indictment or file the case. In the event that you opt for the first option in your order, it will be known if you continue with the actions regarding all those investigated or leave some of them out. The end of the instruction, if it is decreed, can be appealed by the parties.

filed lines

The macro-cause against Podemos, which has had up to seven lines of investigation, has been deflating. Six of them are already closed due to lack of evidence. On December 27, the Madrid Court agreed to definitively bury the investigation about the party's 'solidarity box'The judges, in a resolution that cannot be appealed, rejected the appeal of former senator Celia Cánovas supported by Vox against Escalonilla's decision not to investigate whether there was any type of unfair administration in the management of this fund to which the leaders of the party donate their salaries to allocate them to social projects. According to the judges, "there is no distraction of funds."

In addition to the one mentioned about the 'solidarity fund', the one related to the party's contracts with the Portuguese consulting firm ADB Europa for the April 2019 general elections, that of the alleged cost overruns in the reform of the new party headquarters, which was about the donations made by public officials of the party to the so-called Impulsa Project, that of the alleged bonuses through salary supplements that the party manager, Rocío Esther Val, would have received; and the treasurer, Daniel de Frutos; and that of the alleged access without permission to the hard drive of an employee by the leadership of the training.

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