‘Villarejo Case’: “Pujol knows that I have him super caught with this matter” | Spain

The businessman Javier de la Rosa (left) and Jordi Pujol, during the inauguration of the Tecnon clinic in Barcelona, ​​in 1994.
The businessman Javier de la Rosa (left) and Jordi Pujol, during the inauguration of the Tecnon clinic in Barcelona, ​​in 1994.Joan Sanchez

The Pujol case has an official date of birth: July 25, 2014, when the former president of the Generalitat Jordi Pujol announced the existence of opaque accounts of his family in Andorra. But that confession was also influenced by the result of a hidden and silent work that, previously, had been carried out by police officers under the orders of the Ministry of the Interior. The summary of the Villarejo case now reveals more details of those maneuvers. Throughout 2012, Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo pretended to be a lawyer to record his interviews with Javier de la Rosa – the “model” businessman for Pujol – and with Victoria Álvarez – former lover of the first-born -, who served to prepare the complaints . The family insists that this new documentation supports their thesis that the investigation is contaminated and that is how they will use it in the trial that is held against the clan in the National Court, still pending date.

Villarejo, the epicenter of a macro-plot of police corruption and a member of the patriotic police activated in the Interior during the stage of Jorge Fernández Díaz (PP) as Minister of Mariano Rajoy, it recorded the conversations he had with De la Rosa and Álvarez. The transcript of those meetings, incorporated into the Villarejo case and to which EL PAÍS has had access, shows how their complaints were gestated, the genesis of the legal case against the eldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, which opened the way to investigate the rest of the family. The commissioner also noted his meticulous maneuvers in their agendas.

De la Rosa was the first to shoot. At the end of November 2012, he filed a complaint with the police in which he accused Pujol of having threatened him and of having accounts abroad. According to the financier, ex-president accused him of having leaked The world an information that the newspaper titled thus on the front page: “The Police links accounts in Switzerland of Pujol and Mas with the corruption of CiU.” In the complaint, he explained that the Pujols had an opaque patrimony of 165 million Swiss francs. Two months later, he denied everything when he was called to testify in court. He limited himself to saying that, in 1991, with Pujol in power, he had introduced him to the owner of the Lombard bank in Switzerland. Did you lie before or did you lie then? What had happened?

According to the documentation incorporated into the Villarejo case, the commissioner met with the Catalan financier to obtain his collaboration and prepare the formal complaint. De la Rosa displays an encyclopedic knowledge of the family’s secrets. In the audios, for example, he tells how was his encounter with him president after the publication of The world. “Carmen Alcoriza, Pujol’s lifelong secretary, calls me and tells me: ‘The president wants to see you in a bar next to the house, the Moroni, there at the back”. According to his version, the former president set him “a candle” and told him that he should feel “controlled and watched.”

The retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, arrives at the National Court, this 2021.
The retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, arrives at the National Court, this 2021.Alberto Ortega (Europa Press)

That interview, dated November 29, 2012 (the same day that he presented his complaint to the Police), went beyond the Swiss accounts, whose existence was ruled out in the investigation of the Pujol case. “I am willing to tell everything, to give the details, of much more serious issues and you manage them as you please. (…) I’m telling about the 1,480 million I gave him from Grand Tibidabo, ”he tells Villarejo about the embezzlement of that company in the 1990s, which earned De la Rosa a sentence of three years in prison. The Hearing came to investigate whether the decapitalization of Grand Tibidabo – which ruined thousands of small shareholders – was behind the origin of the Andorran fortune of the Pujols, but the investigations did not come to fruition.

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The “dodgy things” of the family

The commissioner, disguised as a lawyer, asks him to know the “bad things” about the Pujols and tries to win him over to the cause with empathy. “They have treated you like a broken doll,” the pill glows when De la Rosa tells that he unsuccessfully sought financial help from Pujol and Xavier Trias, former mayor of Barcelona. “I told him: ‘I don’t have a penny, they’ve stolen everything from me. I just needed it to pay for my lawyers. And he knows that I have him super caught with this matter and he does not have control of me “, he explains, also about Grand Tibidabo.

In the extensive conversation it is appreciated how Villarejo and the lawyer Rafael Redondo, partner of the police in his private businesses, participate in the drafting of the complaint and discuss the expressions to be used: Pujol “opened several accounts” in front of the president of Lombard, the financier handed over to the president “Suitcases and checks from the bank of Spain.” The commissioner tries to reassure his interlocutor because the crimes have prescribed (“what happens is that politically, no, eh”), he tells him that a car will come to look for him to go to Canillas – there the National Police has a huge complex of buildings — and promises nothing will be made public. He proposes to conclude the text by saying that De la Rosa, as an exemplary citizen, remains at the disposal of the courts. For the businessman, that phrase is superfluous: “I have been five times in the trullo. No, exemplary no, don’t say that ”. In the end they talk about money: for his collaboration, De la Rosa is going to receive, presumably, 250,000 euros.

An open bag on the AVE

The promise of discretion is broken and De la Rosa’s complaint comes to light. Victoria Álvarez, the first-born’s ex-girlfriend, then wants to know if it has been a “leak” and asks to be a protected witness because she fears for her life: “The Pujol have hitmen,” she tells Villarejo and Redondo in a meeting in a cafeteria that also serves to prepare your complaint. She will ratify it before the National Court, in what will be the origin of the first judicial investigation of a member of the Pujol family.

Victoria Álvarez, during her appearance in Parliament, in 2017.
Victoria Álvarez, during her appearance in Parliament, in 2017.Massimiliano Minocri

“They have robbed all of us Catalans, they are criminals,” Álvarez tells his interlocutors, before explaining in detail the couple’s escapes to Andorra – where Jordi Pujol Júnior was “nervous” – and the episode of the banknotes. 500 euros. The route was always the same: from Barcelona to Andorra by car, then a brief pass through Lleida and, from there, AVE to Madrid. On one of those train trips, Álvarez went to get luggage when a bag was accidentally opened. There was money. Upon arriving at the hotel in Madrid, “while he was showering,” the woman inspected her. It contained, according to its version, “400 something thousand euros”. “They were all 500 euro bills and it was a billet like that. Back in Barcelona, ​​I told him he was a son of a bitch. You can’t use me that way, carry me with money without telling me anything. “

The Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) of the National Police, in charge of the investigation of the Villarejo case, has analyzed all these audios and more documentation seized from the commissioner after his arrest in November 2017. According to the investigators, there is no “apparently coercion or indication” by the police to “misrepresent the story” of De la Rosa and Martínez, whom he qualifies as “informants” and includes among the functions that Villarejo had as an agent to “capture information of police interest (mainly, through the handling of human sources) in relation to possible cases of corruption.” In this case, linked to the Pujol family. In this sense, exemplifies the UAI, Álvarez speaks “spontaneously”. The same as De la Rosa. They are not pressured, they conclude.

Judge Manuel García-Castellón also ruled out investigating Villarejo’s maneuvers against the Pujols, as requested by the clan’s eldest son. Last October, the magistrate signed an order in which he considered it to be proven that the commissioner had investigated the family; But the instructor added that part of his actions were part of his duties as a policeman and others, where he does appreciate indications “of the commission of criminal acts”, which have already been elucidated in the courts of Andorra.

García-Castellón has always set the limits of his investigations into Villarejo, leaving out Operation Catalonia – an information intoxication campaign supposedly gestated by the patriotic police in order, through alleged police reports with serious accusations of corruption, to discredit the main leaders of the Catalan independence movement. The magistrate has even removed from the summary other audios that Villarejo captured during the development of this operation and that he considers to be protected by the official secrets law. Four of these recordings are conversations with De la Rosa in November and December 2012.

The commissioner’s agendas also include the meetings and maneuvers with De la Rosa and Álvarez, as well as notes on alleged payments. Despite this, it will be difficult for the efforts of the ex-president to nullify their cause. The National Court has a huge battery of evidence collected against the clan by other means in the Pujol case, to which is added the zeal of the investigating magistrate of that process, José de la Mata, who has already set aside suspicious evidence of irregularity so that his investigation into the family is not contaminated.


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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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