The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has insisted on denying “any intermediation” of the City Council in the purchase of masks after the judge has admitted the complaint of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor against two businessmen for the alleged collection of millionaire commissions, although he has recognized that one of them, Luis Medina, contacted the City Council in two emails.
In a press conference, Martínez-Almeida assured that had no participation “neither direct nor indirect” nor did he make “any payment” to Medina or the other investigated businessman, Alberto Luceño, who supposedly would have received six million euros for the operation.
“Almeida, on the contracts of the Madrid City Council for the purchase of sanitary material that Anticorruption investigates: “I did not have any direct or indirect participation” https://t.co/rscwNdtsL3 pic.twitter.com/iQp8A2VQ2a“
— RTVE News (@rtvenoticias) April 7, 2022
Martínez-Almeida has stated that he could be “wrong” when authorizing the purchase of masksbut he has assured that the only thing they wanted was “to protect the workers who had to go out on the street” in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic.
Two emails from Medina to the Town Hall
According to the mayor, the businessman Luis Medina contacted the City Council of the capital for the purchase of sanitary material through two emails, one on March 18 and the other on March 19 and, according to what he has signed, he does not know if they were made available to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office when it requested information from the Consistory.
“There are two emails from Luis Medina that arrive at the Mayor’s Office Coordination mailbox, one on March 18 and another on March 19. That is the way he had to come into contact with the City Council, like so many. We had more than a thousand “, he has expressed in a press conference after the Governing Board, held at the Municipal Board of Villa de Vallecas.
It was in these emails, he continued, where Medina “provides his mobile phone number.” He has once again denied that his relative knew the businessman, son of Naty Abascal. “These emails prove what we said from the beginning. The person my cousin contacted was not me. I had no idea”, he has asserted.
These emails are redirected to the Security and Emergencies area “and from there to the person in charge of seeing the viability of the information.”
Cs will demand an external audit and another from the Chamber of Accounts
The Municipal Group of Citizens, a partner of the PP Government in the Madrid City Council, has announced that will require an external audit on emergency contracts in the COVID-19 pandemic as well as another to the Chamber of Accountsas announced at a press conference by the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís, who appeared without the mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida.
“The controls have failed, and that has to lead us to a very direct reflection. We ask and demand an external audit on emergency contracts. So that it is a third party that audits them, since we have paid more “, he has expressed before the media.
In addition, they will request another audit from the Chamber of Accounts. “We are going to request it through the Plenary Session of the City Council, for which I ask for the vote in favor of the groups in plenary and it is raised to the Chamber of Accounts and have the opinion”, he has riveted.
The parties of Más Madrid and United We Can in the Madrid Assembly have requested the resignation of the mayor of the capital for the case of alleged fraud against the City Council. Although Cibeles denied yesterday that a relative of the alderman knew the businessman, the left has focused on that alleged link to criticize that “also in the Madrid City Council there was looting in the worst of the pandemic”, as criticized by the leader from Más Madrid, Mónica García, before the plenary session of the Assembly.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.