“I have been the victim of this espionage up to five times.” Ignacio González – who among his most outstanding ‘ex’ conditions is that of being a former president of the Community of Madrid, a former PP militant and former right-hand man of Esperanza Aguirre – passed this Wednesday by the investigation commission of the Madrid City Council on the alleged espionage to Isabel Diaz Ayuso. “I have come to contribute my experience with espionage,” he advanced. The person who was most uncomfortable during his speech was the Popular Party councilor, perhaps because Ignacio González brought out the party’s dirtiest rags: “They are recurring practices.” He talks about political espionage.
Ignacio González, whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for six years in prison for one of the pieces of the ‘Lezo case– for which he was already arrested and sent to prison in 2017 – feels that he has been the victim of an “espionage mafia”. And he points directly to what was his party, the PP. A thread that the popular would like to be invisible but it is not, and that unites them with Isabel Díaz Ayuso: Julio Gutiezdetective and owner of Watch Detectives.
“I intervene in an investigation into Ignacio González with the issue of Canal de Isabel II here in Colombia. And at some point, once, the UCO contacted me. Then it was the one that practically arrested Ignacio González,” Gutiez acknowledged in a conversation with The Newspaper of Spain. This happened in 2008 and 13 years later, someone from the PP, according to his account, contacted him again to investigate Ayuso’s environment. He maintains that he turned it down because it was “illegal”. “They are not isolated cases,” González said in Cibeles, pointing out the coincidences in both scandals.
It is true that the espionage assignment to Díaz Ayuso generated the biggest internal crisis in the party and caused the deferred ‘dismissal’ of Pablo Casado as president of the PP. But the former president of the Community of Madrid sat down this Wednesday in the investigation commission of the City Council to, above all, remember that it is not the first time that the PP resorts to the worst arts to wage a leadership war.
González was spied on on a trip to Colombia in 2008, when he was Vice President of the Government of the Community of Madrid. They recorded him entering a house with some garbage bags. A judicial case was opened for this espionage, even Julio Gutiez declared for it as a result of the fact that the detective agency that he was already directing at the time was accused of being behind the monitoring, but it ended up being filed.
The one who was the right hand of Esperanza Aguirre appeared this Wednesday in Cibeles with a blue folder. “I bring many documents to this commission,” she assured. Among them, according to González, the invoices that show that the espionage of which he was a victim cost almost half a million euros and that he is willing to contribute to the members of the commission. “This issue of my espionage is serious enough to be investigated,” he insisted.
The spokesman for the popular group in the City Council, José Fernández, uncomfortable with the image of the internal functioning of his party that González drew, made an effort to throw his testimony to the ground. “The appearing party, I think he has come to talk about his book,” he said ironically. “I understand that you call me so that I speak not about my book but about the espionage that I have suffered,” the former president replied.
And he was not the only one spied on in the PP in Madrid. In the same year, 2008, the newspaper The country uncovered that officials from the Community Interior Ministry spied on the then deputy mayor, Manuel CoboAlready alfredo prada, Minister of Justice and second vice president of the Executive of Esperanza Aguirre. Cobo was the one who named the plot: “gestapillo”. At that time, Aguirre and Gallardón were waging a battle for the internal power of the party in the Community.
Members of the PSOE were also spied on
This Wednesday, in front of the councilors of the Madrid Consistory, González has assured that during his time in politics he “never” thought that political espionage could constitute a “functioning system”. “Until I was able to verify it personally,” he concluded.
“I know that there are people from other parties, specifically the PSOE, who have been victims of espionage,” the former PP militant also declared. Specifically, González gave the name of the socialist Joaquin Almunia.
The PP has ‘neutralized’ the commission
In the absence of two more sessions, the intervention of Ignacio González has been the most mediatic so far in a commission of investigation marked by absences. Despite the fact that the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez Almeida, promised that all the members of the PP mentioned in the commission would attend it, nothing could be further from the truth. Neither Díaz Ayuso, nor his brother, nor Pablo Casado, nor Teodoro García Egea, nor Ángel Carromero, nor the deputy Beatriz Fanjul… No one from the Popular Party, except those who work in the Consistory such as Andrea Levy, has agreed to submit to the questions of the political groups for the supposed espionage to the president of the Community.
In total, 45 people were summoned and the long list of absentees will undoubtedly condition the scope of the conclusions drawn from a commission to which even Almeida’s government partners, Ciudadanos, have entrusted the credibility of the explanations of the mayor.