The National High Court halts the attempt by Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo to put all the powers of the State under suspicion in the oral hearing that has been held against him since last October. The court has refused to summon the vast majority of witnesses proposed by the defense of the former policeman, who wanted to question presidents of the Government, ministers, secretaries of state, prosecutors and magistrates. “They are not related, either directly or indirectly, with the specific events that are the object of what we are now prosecuting,” says the Fourth Section of the Criminal Chamber in a resolution dated this Thursday, where it resolves the previous questions raised by the defenses and accusations .
With this decision, the court inflicts another blow to Villarejo’s strategy, which has already tried unsuccessfully to stop the start of the trial. The retired commissioner has presented the investigation that makes him sit on the bench as a “flawed and prepared cause”, hatched by the CNI to try to “annihilate him.” And, in addition, he has insisted that he could never commit crimes with his private businesses because these were part of the cover he had as an undercover agent. A thesis that the Prosecutor’s Office refutes, which considers that it tries to muddy the oral hearing with “noise” outside of it. In fact, the Public Ministry has stressed that this process focuses exclusively on the “business network” that it created for profit, “taking advantage of its status” as a police officer.
Among the names that Villarejo put on the table were the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; and two of his predecessors, Mariano Rajoy and Felipe González. Also, the current Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; former ministers Jorge Fernández Díaz, María Dolores de Cospedal and José Luis Corcuera; the former Secretaries of State Rafael Vera and José Antonio Nieto; the State Attorney General, Dolores Delgado; magistrates of the National Court such as Fernando Andreu and Alejandro Abascal; the first examining magistrate of the Villarejo case, Diego de Egea; and prosecutors Eduardo Torres-Dulce, Javier Zaragoza and Manuel Moix. The court refuses to subpoena them as witnesses.
The magistrates also again discard the statement of the presenter Ana Rosa Quintana, raised by the retired commissioner and supported by the Prosecutor’s Office —Podemos, in person as a popular accusation, already proposed it before the hearing, but the Chamber rejected it. Quintana’s husband, businessman Juan Muñoz Tamara, is accused in the trial for hiring the policeman and she was present at a meeting where the issue was discussed.
Of the new witnesses proposed in the previous questions, the judges hardly accept the appearance of a CNI agent, DVR; and a series of former police officers, such as José Luis Olivera, former director of the CITCO (Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime) and accused in the caso Kitchen; Manuel Sánchez Corbí, former head of the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard; and three former deputy directors of the body, Agustín Linares, Pedro Díaz-Pintado and Florentino Villabona. It also remembers, among others, the statement of extorero Jaime Ostos, injured in one of the espionage orders.
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The resolution of the Chamber stands as a chain of blows to the defense of the commissioner. The magistrates reject another of the arguments used by Villarejo to try to stop the trial: the lack of competence of the National Court. The court rules out sending this oral hearing to the ordinary courts and agrees to keep it due to its connection with the main line of investigation of the case, where the existence of an alleged criminal organization headed by the commissioner is close. This crime falls within the matters over which it has jurisdiction: “The facts that are the object of the accusation [en Iron, Pintor y Land], by themselves considered, it would not be sufficient to maintain the competence of this body “, admits the Fourth Section:”[Pero], to the extent that there is data that point to the existence of a common bond between some accused and an alleged illicit activity committed outside our borders, the jurisdiction of this headquarters can be upheld ”.
Since last October, the National Court welcomes this triple trial of the plot led by Villarejo. The Chamber decided to bring together in this hearing three lines of investigation that were instructed separately: the Iron, Land and Painter Pieces. The first deals with the hiring of the commissioner by the firm Herrero & Asociados to allegedly spy on another law firm. Land focuses on the family war of the heirs of Luis García-Cereceda, the developer who built the luxury development La Finca in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). And Pintor investigates whether Juan Muñoz signed Villarejo to illegally obtain data from a former partner, from whom he claimed a debt.
As stated in the resolution of this Thursday, the court also refuses to expel Podemos from the trial, to which it attributes a “certain legitimate interest” and an “active role” as an accusation. In turn, the magistrates rule out that Villarejo’s right of defense was violated by not returning the agendas that were intervened in the records, one of the key evidence in the case: “The fact that the agendas are at the disposal of the Court , does not prevent the author of the notes from extracting the annotations that he deems appropriate for his defense in relation to this trial “. The commissioner can go to the National Court to consult them and take note of what he deems appropriate.