The Madrid Provincial Prosecutor’s Office considers that “the existence of a simulated contract” between Podemos and the consulting firm Neurona Comunidad SL for the general elections of April 2019 is not incidentally proven, although it supports an expert opinion on the work carried out by the company for the match to analyze if the price paid was adequate, as agreed by the instructor in the case.
The Police certify that the works contributed by Podemos to justify the contract with Neurona were created on dates close to 28A
In a letter to which elDiario.es has had access, the prosecutor Lorena Álvarez Taboada supports the decision of Judge Juan José Escalonilla to commission that report, although, at the same time, it recognizes that Podemos “can contract with the providers it deems appropriate” and that “The cost may not be reliably determined” for these jobs. “However, the diligence is logical in view of the procedures carried out so that the resolution is in accordance with the law,” concludes the prosecutor, who also qualifies as “relevant and useful” the performance of this expert opinion in order to “exhaust the investigation”.
The contract between Podemos and Neurona Comunidad SL for the general elections of April 2019 amounted to 363,000 euros and constitutes the center of the investigation that Judge Escalonilla has been developing for a year and a half as a result of a complaint from the dismissed lawyer of Podemos José Manuel Calvente . The magistrate, who keeps the party accused, opened this case in the summer of 2020 and in several of his resolutions he has shown his doubts that this contract corresponded to services actually provided and his suspicions that it could be “simulated.”
But after months of questioning witnesses and defendants and several police reports, the judge gave last November as “incidentally accredited” that Neurona carried out at least part of these works, although he commissioned this new 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 an electoral expense for a price higher than its real cost” with the purpose of “distracting” part of the funds from 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.”
With this justification, it agreed to commission the aforementioned expert report, which Podemos described as “partial” and “prospective.” According to the party, it is not necessary to carry out an economic expert on the work of Neurona “since the effective execution of the electoral campaign services has been proven.”