The legal representation of Podemos accuses the Madrid judge who is investigating their contracts with the consulting firm Neurona, Juan José Escalonilla, of carrying out a “prospective” investigation for requesting proceedings without “rational evidence” to motivate them.
The judge files the investigation of the alleged ‘box B’ of Podemos
The lawyers make this assessment in a letter in which they request to annul a request for information that the magistrate recently made to the Provincial Electoral Board of Madrid in relation to the electoral expenses made by the coalition – formed by United We Can and IU – in the campaign of the regional elections of the Community of Madrid in May 2019. Specifically, the judge asked to know “the identity of the electoral administrator appointed by the United We Can-Izquierda Unida electoral coalition, as well as the electoral account or accounts designated for the fundraising ”.
In their brief, the lawyers of Podemos maintain that the Chamber of Accounts – the supervisory body of the Community of Madrid – has already audited these expenses and did not notice “any irregularity”, so there are no “rational indications” that justify these proceedings. In addition, they recall that Escalonilla himself agreed to annul proceedings that he himself requested aimed at investigating the party’s contracts with the Portuguese consultancy ADB Europa after verifying that the Court of Accounts had proven that there were no irregularities in said contracts.
A weeks ago the judge dismissed due to lack of evidence the open line of investigation on the supposed “opaque” outflow of money from the fund to which the party leaders make donations for social projects, the so-called ‘solidarity fund’. The magistrate concluded that there was no unfair administration in the background that José Manuel Calvente, the fired lawyer who with his complaint caused the opening of this investigation, defined as ‘box B’, a name that was also endorsed by the opposition parties. The investigation into the contract is still open, the contract with the consulting firm Neurona for the April 2019 general elections, which the Prosecutor’s Office has asked to investigate.