The ‘Villarejo case’ accelerates and adds up to 51 prosecuted | Spain | THE COUNTRY

The ‘Villarejo case’ accelerates and adds up to 51 prosecuted | Spain | THE COUNTRY
On the left, retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, accompanied by his lawyer, on July 6 at the National Court. Cézaro De Luca / Europa Press

The Villarejo case has stepped on the accelerator. In the last two weeks, Judge Manuel García-Castellón has concluded five lines of investigation of this summary, thus adding to another five that he had already concluded previously. Through his cars, the magistrate draws a police mafia headed by retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo who, for years, carried out espionage assignments for Ibex 35 companies, for individuals and even for the Ministry of the Interior in the time of the PP.

According to EL PAÍS calculations, the judge has already prosecuted 51 persons for these events: 46 individuals and 5 legal entities, whom he proposes to put on the bench – some, for various lines of investigation. Among them are not only Villarejo himself, some of his relatives (his son José Manuel Villarejo Gil and his wife, Gemma Alcalá) and his main partner (the lawyer Rafael Redondo), but also more than a dozen agents and senior police charges; security directors of large companies; Jorge Fernández Díaz, former Minister of the Interior; Francisco Martínez, former Secretary of State; and businessmen such as Javier López Madrid and Juan Muñoz Tamara, husband of the presenter Ana Rosa Quintana.

However, the target has also lost height just before August, a non-working month in the courts. Last Thursday, with the criteria against the Prosecutor’s Office, the judge dismissed the investigation opened against Dolores de Cospedal, former secretary general of the PP, and her husband for their alleged involvement in Operation Kitchen of espionage to Luis Bárcenas. That same day, he filed the case against Repsol and CaixaBank, as well as against the current president of the oil company, Antonio Brufau, and the former president of the bank, Isidro Fainé, who remained indicted for hiring Villarejo.

The case 2021 faced a key year and the first seven months have shown it. In March, after more than three years in preventive detention, Villarejo was released from prison, processed in nine lines of investigation and for whom the Prosecutor’s Office has already requested more than 100 years of confinement. In addition, the acceleration of the case in these last two weeks serves as a prologue for the first trial of the macrosummary, scheduled for October. These are the 10 lines of investigation where the judge has already issued an indictment:

Marbella. On Monday the decision to terminate the investigations into the alleged espionage concocted by the plot against a businessman from Marbella, Felipe GZ According to the order, issued last Friday, the instructor proposes to judge Villarejo, five of his collaborators —among them, Redondo and the curator Enrique García-Castaño, also involved in Kitchen— and the client who hired them, Marzena Katarzina. The investigators maintain that they accessed confidential databases in order to gather information from the victim to prepare a report that Katarzina later presented in the legal cases that she launched against Felipe GZ

Francisco Martínez, Secretary of State for Security, and Jorge Fernández Díaz, Minister of the Interior, in 2016. Luis Sevllano Arribas

Kitchen. The judge concluded the case of greater political dimension last Thursday: Kitchen, the espionage operation deployed in 2013 with the presumed objective of snatching compromising documents from the former treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas before it was made with them the judge investigating the Gürtel case, which was close to the party. Eleven people have been prosecuted: among them, former Minister Fernández Díaz; his old number two , Francisco Martínez; the then Chief of Police, Eugenio Pino; five other commissioners; and the driver from Bárcenas. But the judge did not do the same with Cospedal, her husband and her former chief of staff. The Prosecutor’s Office and various accusations plan to appeal.

The ‘Villarejo case’ accelerates and adds up to 51 prosecuted | Spain | THE COUNTRY
On the right, businessman Javier López Madrid, former OHL director, upon his arrival at the National Court to attend Bankia’s trial. Fernando Villar / EFE

Dr. Pinto. One of the cruelest episodes in the plot was allegedly conceived against Dr. Elisa Pinto, with whom Javier López Madrid had fallen out and crossed allegations of harassment. According to the instruction, which ended last week, the businessman charged Villarejo with an intense campaign of harassment against her, which included threats, surveillance, access to private data and “interference” in a police investigation where Pinto identified the commissioner as the person who stabbed her in April 2014.

Companies. Grupo Planeta and Mutua Madrileña are the first two large companies to see how the judge proposes to send their managers to trial. The instructor prosecuted this July the former secretary of the board of directors of the first and his former security officer for hiring Villarejo to spy on the arbitrator who settled a dispute they had. The magistrate did the same that same month with the former director of security of the insurance company, who allegedly used the services of the commissioner to obtain data from a former president of Mutua.

The ‘Villarejo case’ accelerates and adds up to 51 prosecuted | Spain | THE COUNTRY
The businessman Juan Muñoz Tamara, husband of the television presenter Ana Rosa Quintana. JPGandul / EFE

Iron, Painter and Land. The first oral hearing of the case will start in October and will jointly judge three lines of investigation: the piece Iron, on the hiring of the commissioner by a law firm to spy on a rival firm; the piece Pintor, about the alleged commission that the businessman Muñoz Tamara and his brother made against an ex-partner and his lawyer; and the piece Land, about the family war of the Cereceda family, promoters of the luxury urbanization La Finca, in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). In total, 27 individuals and 5 legal entities will sit on the bench.

Dina. The investigation into the alleged theft of a mobile from Dina Bousselham, advisor to the former leader of Podemos Pablo Iglesias – whose content ended up published – ended up unfolded. The judge prosecuted Villarejo and two journalists for the events in October, but asked the Supreme Court to impute the politician on suspicion that he participated in the disabling of the electronic device. The Supreme Court rejected it and returned that part of the case to the judge, who is now waiting to receive a new police report. The journalists also appealed their prosecution, but this has not yet been resolved.

The ‘Villarejo case’ accelerates and adds up to 51 prosecuted | Spain | THE COUNTRY
Commissioner Carlos Salamanca attends the National High Court in 2014. CARLOS ROSILLO

Barajas. Last November, the judge concluded the derivative of the Villarejo case centered on Barajas airport. The magistrate prosecuted Commissioner Carlos Salamanca and lawyer Francisco Menéndez Rubio for allegedly facilitating the illegal entry into Spain of Equatorial Guinean businessmen in exchange for gifts. Rubio was the one who sent an anonymous complaint to Anticorrupción that allowed to open the investigation of this macrocause.