Villarejo tries to cancel his own audios in the first big trial against him | Spain

The retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, leaving the National Court, last October.
The retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, leaving the National Court, last October.Alberto Ortega (Europa Press)

José Manuel Villarejo has tried this Monday to cancel the audios that he himself recorded for years and that now have become the main evidence against the retired commissioner, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for more than 100 years in prison in the first great trial held against him in the National Court. During the third session of the hearing, which is still immersed in the preliminary questions phase, the defense of the former National Police agent has considered that those files – which were intervened mainly during the search of his home and offices – should expelled from the procedure.

In the opinion of Villarejo’s lawyer, Antonio García-Cabrera, these recordings are now being used “illegally” against his client. Because, according to the lawyer, they were captured by Villarejo during the development of his duties as commissioner and, therefore, “they are made from the authority of a policeman” and cannot be used against him. But even if the court does not accept this premise, the defense attorney has argued that the commissioner “carried out” them as a lawyer – the former agent is also registered as such – and “would be protected” by professional secrecy.

Once the preliminary questions phase is over, the court has the option of ruling on the nullity of the recordings, although it also has the possibility of doing so in the sentence handed down after the oral hearing. A decision that will not only condition the development of the trial, which will seat 27 people on the bench for three lines of investigation of the Villarejo case (known as Pieces Iron, Land and Painter), but also the rest of the thirty separate pieces of the macrosummary in which the police plot orchestrated by the retired commissioner is investigated.

Villarejo’s defense also took advantage of their turn this Monday during the preliminary questions phase to take out a good part of the artillery. García-Cabrera has described the judicial investigation as a “flawed and prepared case”, concocted by the CNI to try to “annihilate him.” According to the lawyer, these investigations were carried out “outside of all procedural legality” to “pursue” from the State institutions a person who has declared himself “the enemy.” “The investigating judge has not, moreover, ensured the equality of the parties. Villarejo has faced two accusers: the Prosecutor’s Office and the investigating judge, ”the lawyer also charged against Manuel García-Castellón, the magistrate of the National Court who is handling this case. “It is scandalous to judge Villarejo when there are other Villarejos,” added García-Cabrera.

The alleged “criminal organization”

Several defenders have also emphasized this Monday that the National High Court should not prosecute this part of the Villarejo case by being accused of crimes over which, in his opinion, he would have no jurisdiction. “There is a violation of the right to the judge predetermined by law,” have repeated the lawyers of different defendants, who understand that the oral hearing should be assumed by the Provincial Court of Madrid. In this sense, the lawyer for retired commissioner Enrique García Castaño has alleged that this trial —which deals with Iron, Land and Pintor— “has not been opened for the crime of criminal organization” that would justify the intervention of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court, but on others such as bribery and influence peddling.

García Castaño’s lawyer has taken advantage of this matter to charge the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office: “It is not only that [la existencia de] that criminal organization is not proven, but not even an accusation has been formulated in this trial ”—if this crime is raised in the main line of investigation of the Villarejo case, which is still in the investigation phase. It is only an “interested verbalization of the public prosecutor to create a macrocause”, has added this lawyer, who has riveted: “The Prosecutor’s Office is protected in this view in a future: that there is a criminal organization.” Along the same lines, the defender of Villarejo, Antonio García-Cabrera, has said: “This is closely linked to the main piece. If they are acts committed by a criminal organization, they must be tried here, but if not, they must be sent immediately to the Provincial Court ”.

García-Cabrera not only rejects that Cenyt, the group of companies headed by Villarejo, was a “criminal organization”, but also considers that his client is defenseless in this trial by not being able to address this matter. “It is impossible to judge Villarejo here in isolation [de la pieza principal]”, Pointed out the lawyer, who maintains the thesis that the police officers knew and protected the private business of the retired commissioner. As he has said, these activities were aimed at covering his functions as an undercover agent, “without which it would not have been possible to carry out.” And, therefore, if “Villarejo was obliged to maintain a business structure at the service of State security to provide coverage,” he could not form a criminal organization. In this sense, the lawyer has proposed to suspend this oral hearing until, at least, the main part of the case in which this crime is attributed is prosecuted.

The first great trial of Villarejo has entered its third session this Monday. But it is still in its preliminary questions phase, which began on October 13 with the first attempt by the retired commissioner to suspend the start of the oral hearing. On the second day, the defenses of the lawyer Rafael Redondo, the former policeman’s main partner, and Gemma Alcalá, wife of the main defendant for the plot, spent their turn questioning the legal validity of Villarejo’s own audios. These recordings constitute one of the main evidence incorporated into the summary and, in fact, the lawyer of the retired commissioner Enrique García-Castaño has also insisted this Monday along the same lines and has requested their annulment: “The recordings that work within the framework of this cause they would have been obtained surreptitiously, without the guarantees having been safeguarded ”.

This third session has left, again, the image of Villarejo sitting next to his lawyer, and not on the defendant’s bench. The great protagonist of the plot has asserted his status as a lawyer and plans to even speak to defend himself, although the court has not allowed him this Monday. “I will also speak on behalf of my client, a certain Villarejo,” the retired commissioner said ironically before entering the National Court. “Some villarejologist has said that, during my last appearance in Congress [en la comisión de investigación abierta sobre el caso Kitchen sobre el espionaje al extesorero del PP Luis Bárcenas], I threw peanuts [para desviar la atención]… “, Villarejo has defended himself from the criticism leveled against him for his grandiose statements:” I think I am a walking peanut, “he ironized.

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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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