Cosidó hides again in ignorance to distance himself from the plot Kitchen | Spain

The former general director of the Police Ignacio Cosidó passes by the ERC parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, upon his arrival at the Kitchen committee.
The former general director of the Police Ignacio Cosidó passes by the ERC parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, upon his arrival at the Kitchen committee.Ricardo Rubio (Europa Press)

The former director general of the Police Ignacio Cosidó has appeared this Thursday for the second time before the parliamentary commission that investigates the Operation Kitchen of illegal espionage to the ex-treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas with a message identical to the one he already wielded the first time he did so, the last June: he had nothing to do with or knew of the existence of the parapolice plot that concocted that operation designed to steal from Bárcenas the supposedly compromising documentation that he had against the party leaders, despite the fact that the judicial investigation has revealed the alleged involvement both his two political superiors, the former Secretary of State for Security Francisco Martínez and the former Minister of the Interior Jorge Fernández Díaz, as well as his most direct collaborator, who was his number two at the head of the police, Commissioner Eugenio Pino. “I was neither informed nor had to be informed,” he assured. The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, in the brief with which last September appealed the order of the judge of the National Court Manuel García-Castellón that concluded the investigation of the caso Kitchen, requested the imputation of the former director general of the Police, who until now has not been called to testify as a witness.

Throughout more than two hours of appearance, Cosidó has once again marked distances with those who, during the time he led the police (2012-2016) were his superiors in the Interior, as well as with the high police officers investigated for espionage to the ex-treasurer of the PP. Above all, with Commissioner Pino, who before the judge had assured that the politician knew about the illegal operation to steal documents from the former treasurer. Cosidó has defined his relationship with his former Deputy Director of Operations (DAO) and whose office was adjacent to his, as “professional, cordial and, of course, trustworthy”, but has also made it clear that “it is not that we left of drinks together ”. Asked by the PSOE spokesman in the commission Felipe Sicilia how he explained that this commissioner had pointed out to him in his statement before the judge, the former director general has limited himself to saying that he did not know “the literality” of that testimony and recalled that the Defendants may exercise “legitimate defense” in their appearances before the judge as they deem appropriate.

As already happened in his appearance in June, Cosidó has insisted time and again that among the functions of the general director was not to direct investigations and that, of the only investigations about Bárcenas that he had news of, were those that the then judge of the Pablo Ruz National Court followed and was in charge of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF), responsible for the investigations of the Gürtel case. Regarding the operation that, without the knowledge of this magistrate, was concocted in the Interior to spy on the former treasurer of his party, the politician has denied knowing anything, neither of the recruitment of the driver Sergio Ríos as a confidant nor of the diversion of funds reserved to finance him. “The reserved funds are not a competence of the General Directorate of the Police. He neither had knowledge nor should he have knowledge ”, he stressed before pointing directly to the former Secretary of State, Francisco Martínez, in this matter.

He has also contested that he authorized the Central Operational Support Unit (UCAO, mainly dedicated to the fight against terrorism) to participate in the monitoring of Bárcenas and his surroundings. He has even refuted that he intervened in the pressures that Chief Inspector Manuel Morocho, responsible for the investigation of the Gürtel case, has denied before the judge and in Congress having received to harm the investigations. “I have always shown support and appreciation for their work,” he said.

On his relationship with the commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, accused in the caso Kitchen and alleged leader of the parapolice plot that profited from the sale of confidential information, has reduced it to a minimum, as he did in his previous appearance. “He came to my office and came to give me a formal greeting,” he assured. “I never had any contact with Mr. Villarejo, I never met with him, I never had a telephone conversation, I never had an email exchange,” he said, repeating almost the same words he used in June when he was asked about his links with him. retired commissioner.

Only at the end of his appearance, when asked by EH Bildu deputy Jon Iñarritu, has he admitted that, with the information he then had in his hands about the commissioner’s activities outside of his work as a policeman, his “will” was to have separated Villarejo from his duties, but that he did not do so because he was told that the agent was going to request his discharge. Finally, the policeman anticipated his retirement only a few months, coinciding with the departure of Fernández Díaz from the Interior and Cosidó himself from the Police.

Cosidó has even rejected any kind of political responsibility for the caso Kitchen: “You are responsible for your actions and words, but I cannot be held responsible for things that are alien to me”, referring to the operation in which close collaborators participated. “I fulfill my duty of not having knowledge”, he has come to affirm to justify his supposed ignorance about the operation.

Before Cosidó, Commissioner Pedro Agudo appeared, who for ten months between 2011 and 2012 was precisely his chief of staff. Agudo was dismissed after it was learned that his wife had an academy to prepare candidates to join the police in which he had taught. Later, he was assigned as Interior Attaché to the embassy of Rome, where he maintained a close relationship with the then liaison judge in the Italian capital and current instructor of the caso Kitchen, Manuel García-Castellón. In 2016, before ceasing to be director general of the Police, Cosidó awarded him a pensioned police medal.

However, his appearance has revolved mainly in the exchange of messages that he maintained, in 2019, with the former Secretary of State for Security Francisco Martínez when he feared being charged – as it finally happened – in the caso Kitchen. In one of those messages, Martínez asked the policeman to speak “with Manolo [García-Castellón] to close that shit ”, referring to the investigation into the illegal espionage of Bárcenas. This Thursday, the commissioner has admitted that exchange of messages, incorporated into the case after the dump of the mobile phone of the former high-ranking Interior official, but has denied that he made any action before the judge of the National High Court. “I’m just trying to look good. I would never have done what he asked me to do, “he assured, after noting that, in his opinion, when Martinez sent him the message he was” in an absolutely desperate situation “due to his judicial situation.

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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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