The Madrid Court endorses the investigation of Begoña Gómez

The Madrid Court endorses the investigation of Begoña Gómez
The Madrid Court endorses the investigation of Begoña Gómez

The Provincial Court of Madrid has agreed to reject the Prosecutor’s claim that the investigation opened by the Court of Instruction Number 41 of Madrid against Begoña Gómez, wife of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, be archived for alleged crimes of influence peddling and corruption in business. He thus endorses the instructor’s decision, but clarifies that he considers that it was not appropriate to decree the secrecy of the proceedings.

This is stated in an order from this court, to which Europa Press has had access, which responds to the appeal filed at the end of April by the Prosecutor’s Office in which, according to consulted tax sources, the order of 16 December was requested to be revoked. April in which Judge Juan Carlos Peinado adopted the decision to open investigation proceedings following the complaint from the Manos Liminas union.

Specifically, Section 23 of the Provincial Court, with a presentation by Magistrate Enrique Jesús Bergés, points out that “despite the somewhat weak content of the complaint” by Manos Médicas, there is “sufficient objective data that legitimizes the initiation of the investigation.” regarding the Public Administration awards to the company Innova Next SLU of businessman Juan Carlos Barrabés.

That complaint by Manos Limpes, to which Europa Press had access, was registered by its general secretary Miguel Bernad on April 9 and in it he maintained that Begoña Gómez, “taking advantage of her personal status, wife of the president of the Government of Spain, “has been recommending or endorsing by letter of recommendation with his signature businessmen who participated in public tenders”.

The union claimed that one of the businessmen “benefited by these recommendations or endorsements” from Gómez is Juan Carlos Barrabés, and that public tenders worth 10 million euros were awarded to him. “This businessman also set up the Master of Competitive Social Transformation of the accused,” they maintained, and added that Begoña Gómez’s chair also signed that businessman as an associate professor.

“Objective indications”

The court now explains in this regard that, from the documentation attached to the complaint, it appears that Innova Next SLU – part of the Barrabés business network – obtained contracts with Red.es “by winning over more attractive economic offers” and that, “at “Apparently, the accused Begoña Gómez recommended her hiring by letter.”

However, regarding the claim of Manos Cleans that Gómez would have been able to mediate in the public rescue of Air Europa thanks to his alleged connection with the company’s former CEO Javier Hidalgo, the Court asserts that it is “a simple conjecture.” “beyond” striking temporal and personal coincidences.

“From the above it is deduced that there are indications about the alleged commission of a criminal act for the beginning of the investigation agreed upon by the appealed order and that they are sufficient in relation to what the Constitutional Court requires for the initiation of a procedure,” Add.

And it emphasizes that the Manos Cleans complaint provides “objective indications that point to intermediation in the granting of subsidies in which some type of compensation could have been involved, at least, with respect to the specific facts referring to the UTE formed by Innova Next SLU and The Valley Business School, an activity that legitimizes an investigation.” He points out that it is not necessary at the moment to anticipate a legal qualification.

In this sense, it tells the Public Ministry that regardless of the result of the open investigation, “it is not the time to evaluate the evidence to charge a crime” and, therefore, “the detailed analysis of the reported criminal act is completely inappropriate for be legally qualified”.

“Lacunae of impunity”

Furthermore, it disgraces the Prosecutor’s Office that “its attempt to prevent any investigation based on a restrictive typical interpretation, ‘ab initio’, in this delicate field is unusual and could lead to creating gaps of impunity in all criminal activity where the delimitation of criminal behavior relevance is not always easy to establish.

And given that he only sees a basis in what refers to the awards to Barrabés, he tells the judge that he must limit himself to those facts and must give “the appropriate orders to the investigating police force, given the generic nature of the initial letter” that he issued.

As for Peinado declaring the case secret at the beginning, the court says that it was “unnecessary” because the opening order does not indicate the purpose of said restriction of rights. “And yet, the accused is allowed to learn of the results of the proceedings, not fulfilling the purpose that would justify the secrecy that we have indicated,” he points out, which is why he agrees to lift the secrecy, although this measure has already been adopted by the instructor himself days ago.

Does not analyze the UCO report

The order of the Provincial Court of Madrid does not analyze, however, the report of the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard, in which it is ruled out that there is a connection between Begoña Gómez and the former CEO of Globalia Javier Hidalgo that favored the rescue of the company’s airline by the State, and that also rules out that its intervention would decant awards to companies of businessman Juan Carlos Barrabés.

In the report, the agents of the Economic Crime Group 3 indicate that the only element that would objectively link Begoña Gómez with Globalia is the fact that she coincided with Hidalgo in two events that took place in January 2020 in which the Wakalua company participated – Globalia subsidiary.

On the other hand, the UCO, after analyzing the public contracts awarded to companies linked to the businessman Juan Carlos Barrabés, concludes that in the three files of the company Innova Next with Red.es, which are the focus of the court’s investigation, the Barrabés company (or the joint venture with which it participated) obtained “the best score” in criteria dependent on value judgment, whose weight in the competition was 40%. In the section of economic criteria (60%) it was not, however, the first.

The agents explain, however, that with the normalization of the scores and applying the weight percentage of each criterion, the two UTEs in which Innova Next was involved obtained the best score in the four contracts.

Within the framework of the investigation, the judge has already carried out a series of procedures: from taking statements from those responsible for the media in which the news on which the complaint was based was published, to the request to the UCO to claim the files of the contracts under suspicion from the Higher Sports Council (CSD) or the Madrid City Council.

On the other hand, it has emerged that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) asked Judge Peinado if this case affects contracts signed with European funds and is already analyzing documentation of the procedure to determine if it is competent to investigate.

This is stated in a decree of April 26, to which Europa Press has had access, in which the community body asks the Court of Instruction Number 41 of Madrid to inform it of the events it is investigating and whether “it would be involved in the procedure.” the UTE Innova Next SLU – The Valley Business School”, made up of a company owned by businessman Juan Carlos Barrabés, whom Manos Limpies points out as a beneficiary of Gómez’s “recommendations or endorsements.”

 
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