Isabel Díaz Ayuso was moved this Thursday when she announced in the Madrid Assembly that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office had opened the investigation into the contract signed by the Autonomous Community of Madrid for the purchase of masks, from which her brother Tomás Díaz Ayuso benefited. The conclusion of this investigation frees the Regional President from either of the two investigations launched by this operation, but from the procedures opened by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, an independent body that began operating in June 2021 to investigate the offences investigate that endanger the financial interests of the EU. The Community of Madrid paid for the 250,000 masks purchased by Priviet Sportive with European funds and the Community Public Prosecutor wants to check if there have been any irregularities in the use of this money.
The parallel investigation in both bodies led to the first conflict of jurisdiction between the Spanish and the European public prosecutor’s office last March. Community investigators demanded the power to refer the investigation to the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Alejandro Luzón, who had previously launched a case after receiving a complaint from the Assembly’s PSOE, Más Madrid and Unidas Podemos groups. But Luzón refused to drop the case, leading to a harsh exchange of briefs and Attorney General Dolores Delgado urging the chamber’s prosecutors – its main advisory body – to mediate in the conflict. Delgado chose to separate the files so that Anti-Corruption would keep the part of the investigation that in principle was not linked to European funds, while leaving the investigation of the alleged crimes resulting from the misuse of European funds to the community prosecutors attributed.
The confrontation between the European and Spanish prosecutors is not over yet, as EU officials believe that the Attorney General should not be the one to settle the conflicts of jurisdiction between the two instances, but instead demands that Spain refer the case to the European judiciary forwards this to make a decision. But Anti-Corruption continued to investigate, as Delgado had ordered, focusing solely on alleged crimes that could directly affect the functioning of Spanish public administration (tampering with peddling, subterfuge, illicit dealings with officials, fraud and untruth). These are the investigations that Luzon has archived.
Meanwhile, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate, among other things, because of a possible crime of embezzlement. In the documents exchanged between the Spanish and Community bodies, the head of the former argued that there was not a single indication that European aid had been diverted, but EU prosecutors pointed to “irregularities” stemming from the “possible delivery of Face masks” result in “. inferior quality and consequently price compared to the agreed ones”, possible payment by the Autonomous Community of Madrid for the transport of the masks and “possible irregular intervention by the president’s brother”.
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