The ‘Kitchen’ judge refuses to open a new piece on Cospedal and accuses the Prosecutor’s Office of bordering on legal fraud

The judge of the National Court Manuel Garcia-Castellon investigating ‘Operation Kitchen’ has thrown in the face of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor to request that an encore piece be opened in that case to investigate the role of Maria Dolores de Cospedal in spying on former popular treasurer Luis Bárcenas. He points out that this “mirror piece” is a claim “closer to the figure of legal fraud than to the function of the Public Ministry.”

This is reflected in an order dated November 30, collected by Europa Press, in which it resolved to reject the PSOE resource –supported by the Prosecutor’s Office– who insisted on requesting that Cospedal’s role be investigated. He tells the formation that any purpose “proto-procedural“that it has as a party has no place in the procedure.

“Taking into account that it is a political party (…) any other ‘proto-procedural’ purpose that this party could have by intervening here It is neither admissible nor justified“, he asserts.

Thus, it affects that it is not appropriate to open “a separate piece encore” of the Kitchen case, despite the fact that the PSOE maintained in its letter that Cospedal demanded “information” and gave “guidelines” on what should be done, participating “directly” in the espionage of former ‘popular’ treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

Those of Pedro Sánchez also asked the magistrate to focus on the “relevance of the new audios” –leaked to the press– “because, if verified, they would exclude any kind of doubt” about the ex-minister’s involvement.

García-Castellón points out that as he already said in a previous order in September, the support of the accusation against Cospedal “is reduced almost nuclear to a few minutes of an audio cut of which not only its origin is unknown, but also any circumstance and context”.

He adds that he cannot share that, based on a statement made by Cospedal, it is inferred that he was aware of the spying operation on the PP treasurer.

mirror piece

Harder is, if possible, the magistrate with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which he accuses of requesting that bis piece, “a kind of mirror piece”, and says that “this claim is closer to the figure of legal fraud than to the proper function of the Public Prosecutor’s Office”.

In line, remember that the Prosecutor’s Office has among its functions to bring criminal action against people with respect to whom it understands that crimes have been committed and that these actions can be exercised by filing the timely complaint or complaint.

For this reason, he reasons, if the prosecutor believes that there are indications of the commission of crimes on the part of Cospedal, you must specify them in writing and file a complaint justifying the accusation. “In any case, they must be different from those that they were already valued and that they determined the file”, she reminds him.

After this refusal to investigate Cospedal, now it will be the Criminal Chamber who has the last word on whether the former general secretary of the PP should enter the case as an investigated. Which would mean that the political leg would be added to the police leg of the case.

The prosecution brief

In the letter by which the Prosecutor’s Office adhered to the request of the PSOE, to which Europa Press has also had access, it was pointed out that the allegations of the appellant “are partly coincident with the position maintained by the fiscal Ministery in their report dated September 2, 2022″ since they were interested in the creation of that piece ‘bis’, the extension of the investigation period, attaching the new documentation to that piece, and taking a statement from both Cospedal and the former secretary of State of the Interior, Francis Martinez.

It indicates that, indeed, the appearance of new audios in the media are new facts that justify the reopening of the piece because they are relevant to the cause. “The new audios make constant references to the knowledge and monitoring of the development of the Kitchen operation by María Dolores de Cospedal and Mariano Rajoy Brei” –former president of the Government–, they remember.

In fact, they assert that the content of the new published audios “is not consistent with what was declared in the instruction by the initially investigated María Dolores De Cospedal, since the recordings of her meetings would reflect that her true purpose of those meetings with the then Commissioner Villarejo was the follow-up of the novelties and advances of the investigation of the
Gürtel case”.

They point out that he came “in the course of one of those meetings to give the police instructions to recover and make Luis Bárcenas’s little notebook disappear, whose notes could affect irregular financing of the Popular Party.”

Thus, they consider that the relevance of these new indicative elements “is unquestionable, and justifies the reopening of the provisionally dismissed investigation.”

The origin of the audio

On the origin of these audios, which determines “their suitability to be used as valid test sources and non-contaminating of the investigation”, the Prosecutor’s Office refers to the information provided by Internal Affairs and which points to the fact that the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo was the one behind the dissemination to the media.

On the other hand, the Public Ministry charged against the decision of the magistrate not to investigate Cospedal de “contradictory” because he assumes that there are new facts on the one hand, and on the other “he insists that there would be no new facts because (…) the inconsequentiality of Villarejo’s meetings with Cospedal has already been assessed.”

And he adds that if the judge refuses to investigate these audios, he will not be able to know their origin or their suitability.

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