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Friday, February 3, 2023

The prosecution leaves Aguirre out of the case of box b of the PP in Madrid, blaming Granados and Beltrán Gutiérrez

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Esperanza Aguirre, former President of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, in Madrid in February 2021.Victor Lerena (EFE)

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has taken a step three years after Esperanza Aguirre was indicted punic case. The Public Ministry has requested this Tuesday the file of the open case against the former president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, who has remained in target since 2019 because of the alleged box b of the regional PP and the corruption nested in their governments. As reported in a statement, the panel led by Alejandro Luzón made this decision after failing to collect enough evidence to suggest putting her on the bench of the National Court. Despite this, as indicated in the motion for prosecution addressed to Judge Manuel García-Castellón, it is planned to try 10 people: including Francisco Granados and Beltrán Gutiérrez, two men of Aguirre’s greatest confidence, who respectively hold the positions of general secretary and manager of the popular Madrid.

The final decision now rests with Judge García-Castellón, who is leading this corruption case in which more than 150 people have been investigated. It also remains to be seen how popular accusations will play out in the synopsis, including the PSOE and the Izquierda Unidad. Although legal sources detailed that without the prosecution’s motion against Aguirre, it is very difficult to send her to the bench.

In this final report, which runs to more than 800 pages and was signed by prosecutor Alejandro Cabaleiro after tensions with the other two prosecutors in the case, the state ministry concludes that there was “clear evidence of voter fraud” during the 2007 and 2008 election campaigns “ be prescribed. Regarding the 2011 election, however, prosecutors believe the case can go to trial and are therefore requesting Beltrán Gutiérrez and Francisco Granados to sit on the bench “for an election crime (both), drug trafficking “. and bribery (the second only).

That punic case It erupted in 2014. The investigation initially focused on the machinations of Granados, Aguirre’s adviser and general secretary of the PP in Madrid. But in 2016, the court opened a new line of inquiry into the party’s alleged improper funding. The Civil Guard found at the politician’s home a black Moleskine notebook with voting notes and annotations arranged in two columns, each titled the English words ‘in’. [dentro] and out” [fuera]“.

After analysis, the agents concluded that it was a detailed record by Granados, the campaign manager for the 2011 elections, of construction companies providing money to the party and outflows. The donors were identified by their initials. And also to the alleged recipient of part of them: “BG”, Beltrán Gutiérrez, manager of the Madrid formation.

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Anti-corruption allegations now focus on the two, who also want to file the case against Ignacio González, Aguirre’s vice president and his successor in office when she left the regional government. He was patron of Fundescam (Foundation for the Economic and Social Development of the Autonomous Community of Madrid) and commanded the Agency for Computers and Communications (ICM) and Canal de Isabel II, organizations allegedly used by the conspiracy, according to the summary. Cristina Cifuentes, who succeeded González as president, was fired last year because her involvement in the irregular funding was not “proven”.

The State Department has defended that there is enough evidence to charge the three, but not enough to go further and propose that they be tried. Among other things, tax sources told EL PAÍS that none of Aguirre’s direct reports had pointed this out forcefully: Beltrán Gutiérrez, for example, denied the alleged box b during a three-hour testimony in 2017. Among the few testimonies scattered were that of businessman Horacio Mercado , who placed them in meetings where guidelines were presumably given to his benefit; and that of Guillermo Ortega, former mayor of Majadahonda (Madrid), who explained that politics had placed him at the head of the public company Mercado Puerta de Toledo, from which he diverted one million euros to pay for campaign costs.

the great beneficiary

When it was decided to indict Aguirre, the judge and prosecutors pointed to her as the major beneficiary of the plot. She ran the three bodies where corruption nested – the regional government, PP of Madrid and Fundescam – and the money allegedly siphoned off was used to fund her electoral operations and even pay for a reputation campaign on-line in his favor. “[Ella] devised the search for resources to fund campaigns of her own choosing, which “are principally aimed at strengthening and strengthening her political figure and consolidating her as President,” they reflected in several writings, adding: ” A situation such as the one described explains that the impetus and oversight of the entire network rests with the President […] [Era] the ultimate overseer of the synergies between her trusted advisors.”

Aguirre has consistently denied these allegations. In a letter to the judge in early July, the former president insisted that she had “no criminal record” and denounced that this summary “has been augmented for years by procedural tricks that have been systematically engineered.” be the PSOE”. His defense described him as a “gossipy Sambenito”, attributing to him that “he knew everything, he decided everything”: “Exaggerated, even to Sauron’s eye”, his lawyer captivated, referring to a character in the trilogy Lord of the Ringsby novelist JRR Tolkien.

In their final conclusions, prosecutors have also requested that eight individuals be prosecuted for online reputation work for various politicians whom they allege evasion and embezzlement. These include Salvador Victoria and Borja Sarasola, former regional councillors; Isabel Gallego, former press secretary for Aguirre; and businessman Alejandro De Pedro. The list is completed by José Martínez Nicolás, Diego Mora, María Luisa de Madariaga and Francisco Lobo.

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Source elpais.com

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