Commissioner García Castaño points out to the political class: “Everyone knew Villarejo” | Spain

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The retired commissioner Enrique García Castaño, last April, in Congress.
The retired commissioner Enrique García Castaño, last April, in Congress.Marshal (EFE)

The first major trial against Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo enters a key stage with the declaration of the agents accused of being part of his police corruption plot. This Thursday it was the turn of Enrique García Castaño, an experienced commissioner already retired, with more than 40 years of career behind him, former head of the intelligence unit of the Police in charge of covert operations and for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requests almost 83 years in jail. Castaño has affirmed that he only provided data to his partner for police actions and has influenced the special condition that, according to him, Villarejo had with the approval of the high political positions of the State.

“Villarejo is a monster that politicians have created,” said Castaño, who is accused of providing confidential information to the plot for its espionage projects. “He had authorization to bill, he was allowed all kinds of private investigations […] I have had four Villarejos In my unit, four agents who were active in the Police and who had their companies because they were their cover. They were authorized by the Ministry of the Interior ”, continued the commissioner, who has considered it a habitual“ practice ”to“ have an opaque structure ”for the fight against terrorism and organized crime. “And everyone knew it. Everybody knew about Mr. Villarejo ”, he added, referring to the senior political leaders.

—What do you know about the activities that Villarejo developed? —The prosecutor Miguel Serrano has launched before.

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—Since 1994, when he returned to the body, the entire corporation knew exactly what his job was: he was active [como policía]He was listed as a businessman and was allowed to use a corporate structure, the Cenyt group, for the benefit of the Police and the CNI, ”the accused replied.

His words coincide with the version offered on Wednesday by another defendant, Chief Inspector Constancio Riaño, who was under the orders of García Castaño, with whom he is currently in conflict – they blame each other for providing confidential data to the plot. “From Villarejo, the entire unit had a very good impression. He was a man who was authorized by high political positions to have companies to help the country. In the Police, in small committeeIt was said that he was a man who worked for the State security services and for our country, ”said agent Riaño.

The response of both supports part of Villarejo’s thesis, which affirms that he could never commit crimes with his businesses because they reinforced his cover as an undercover agent. But Anti-Corruption has already made it clear that it did not doubt that the Cenyt leader worked as an “intelligence police” or that he even had the “structural condition of collaborating with the CNI”; Rather, the problem was precisely that Villarejo exceeded his work to “profit” by charging for espionage orders paid by companies and individuals.

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García Castaño, who was known in the body with the alias of Fat, has denied that he committed any illegality. As he has repeated, whenever he provided confidential data to Villarejo, they were for “police operations”: “And when he had any questions, he consulted with the deputy director of operations, Eugenio Pino.” Along these lines, Castaño has stressed that he never provided sensitive information for private espionage orders, despite the fact that the public ministry maintains that he participated in the Iron Project, which deals with the hiring of Villarejo by the Herrero & Asociados law firm to spy to another rival firm, Balder; and in the Land Project, which focuses on the family war of the heirs of the promoter Luis García-Cereceda.

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“Villarejo has never asked me for an investigation on Balder […] Show me a recording where you ask me, because this man recorded everything! […] Every time Villarejo has asked me for something, he has recorded it for me, ”reiterated retired commissioner García Castaño, former head of the Central Operational Support Unit (UCAO), in charge of covert operations.

Enrique García Castaño, during his statement at the trial this Thursday.
Enrique García Castaño, during his statement at the trial this Thursday.

Half a million euros in cash

The Prosecutor’s Office, which accuses García Castaño of receiving rewards from Villarejo for his collaboration, has tried to surround the commissioner by following the money trail. As the public prosecutor has explained and the former head of the UCAO has admitted, their bank accounts recorded cash income of more than 500,000 euros over 11 years. “Where do they come from?” The prosecution asked him. “From reserved funds and other kinds of things … From conventional operations that have been entrusted to me, in which I have participated and for which I have been given cash,” the commissioner replied.

García Castaño has asserted that there are reserved funds that are governed by the law enacted in the nineties, in the stage of Juan Alberto Belloch as Minister of Justice: “But, later, there are other types of funds that, when there is a special operation, they go apart. They are state funds, but they are under secrecy ”. In this way he has justified that income in his accounts: it was money that he had advanced or with which he was rewarded. “For example, when I went to France and had to pay a French authority because they collaborated with us, I brought the cash for expenses. And I was paid that way because my life was at stake ”. “They have been giving me funds since the coup on February 23,” he added.

The Prosecutor’s Office has added that García Castaño paid in cash, and at once, the annual cost of the house where he lives for rent. Or that he also used two cars of the BMW brand from the Villarejo companies. According to the commissioner, the money for his housing came from his salary, that of his wife and from the bonuses he received from those state funds: “He was putting them in an envelope and paying.” Regarding the cars, the former head of the UCAO affirms that he paid for them almost 50,000 euros to his partner – an amount from, as he has reiterated, the gifts he received at his wedding – and that this economic operation was legal.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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