The scandal of the hit by the Madrid City Council has put on the table the functioning of the network of social, family and political contacts to seek to reach key people quickly and efficiently, in this case the person in charge of distributing the funds available from the City Council for the purchase of sanitary material in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The judge investigating the so-called 'mask case' seeks to unravel that network of contacts, that exchange of favors, which benefit some to the detriment of others. The instructor wonders if this is due to last names, friendships, or professional connections.
Luis Medina, son of the late Duke of Feria and investigated for this matter, maintained a "social" relationship over the years with the president of CIS University, María Díaz de la Cebosa. Over the years she this she kept in touch with her former student. She didn't do it with everyone, just with some. During the interrogation of him as a witness in this matter held this Monday and to which La Vanguardia has had access, the judge investigated these links, asking what kind of relationship they had.
-It is not a friendly relationship, it is a very cordial relationship that is maintained over time.
- Do all the students of that university have your phone?
- All no, some yes.
One of those students was Medina. They hadn't spoken for a long time, but it so happened that in March 2020, the teacher received a call from her. Medina was looking for help. She had the capacity to acquire sanitary material and wanted to offer it to the Madrid City Council or Community.
Why did Medina think of Díaz de la Cebosa? The interrogations are unknown. But he hit the nail on the head. It turns out that the president of her university had the contact of Carlos Martínez-Almeida, the cousin lawyer of the mayor of Madrid. She did the management as she had been asked by her student.
-I called Carlos Martínez-Almeida and told him, 'Look Carlos, I have a former student from the university named Luis Medina who wants to offer masks, which he has.'
-Did you tell him that Luis Medina was a well-known person, Duke of Feria, or did you say nothing of the sort?
-Any. I said that he was a former student who has this material and wants to offer it. ‘Do you know the mail to make the offer?’ He told me, ‘let me see but there is a mail that I know can send the goods urgently’.
According to the testimony of Díaz de la Cebosa, he did not tell the mayor's cousin that his student Luis Medina was the famous Luis Medina, son of the Duke of Feria and Naty Abascal, known from the coated paper magazines.
Next question that the judge himself launched. How did you know Carlos Martínez Almeida?
-In 2018 we entrusted the constitution of the Robert Kennedy Foundation for human rights to his office and to him to create the statutes and make the foundation. He is the secretary of said foundation and that is where the connection comes from.
-Do you know if Medina is friends with this man?
-Does not have it.
-Is it you who is a friend of Carlos Martínez-Almeida?
-I have a very good relationship.
-After giving your phone, you disengage?
-I ask Luis if he has managed to talk to Carlos, he tells me yes, that he has sent an email and that he is waiting for an answer.
-I could have told him to call the Town Hall but you did him a favor.
-I did it because at that time I thought it was so urgent and the merchandise could be bought by another country that if they called me it was because they would not have gotten it.
One of the questions raised in the teacher's statement is why she thought of Carlos Martínez-Almeida to help Medina. “I didn't know if Carlos would have the contact. He made the call because he is a person of principles and with the same concerns that we could all have. When I called him, I did not know if he was going to have the mail, ”she answered the questions of the popular accusations.
In other words, Díaz de la Cebosa, according to his testimony, did not call his friend the lawyer because he was the mayor's cousin to find out how he could contact the City Council.
To continue unraveling how this network of contacts works, the judge took a statement yesterday from Carlos Martínez-Almeida as a witness.
The mayor's cousin did not know Medina at all. But he helped him. He did not have the "generic" email from the City Hall to know where he had to go to offer his material. But Carlos Martínez-Almeida did him a favor and called Matilde García Duarte, general coordinator of the City Council and de facto the mayor's right-hand man, as he himself explained during the interrogation, according to sources present at her.
From what is known so far, the mayor's cousin did not call him to do the management, but rather his number two. And how did he know her? Both are from the same group of friends for years, as he himself acknowledged.
So Medina got an e-mail to write. The mayor's cousin assures that it was a "generic" email from the City Council. The accusations have asked the judge that the consistory certify if this really is generic mail. From the City Council they confirm that it is. In fact, his Twitter account from those days contained that email to offer donations of material to fight against Covid-19.
However, contrary to what some of his contacts believed, Medina was not looking to donate but to facilitate a contract with a Malaysian company, Leno, for which he would receive a commission in return.
Now there is a mystery to be solved. How did Medina get to Elena Collado, in charge of managing the contracts in the pandemic? The businessman said that the mayor's cousin had provided it, but he has said that he does not know Collado at all nor did he have her contact.
This person in charge of the City Council is waiting for the judge to decide if he goes to testify as a witness or as an investigator. However, she already testified in the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office while Medina and his partner, Alberto Luceño, were being investigated for the crimes of fraud, money laundering and document forgery. Collado acknowledged that Medina contacted him but did not remember from whom the contact came. That part of the network remains to be unraveled.
Going back to the beginning of the story, the teacher told the judge that she did not tell Carlos Martínez-Almeida who Medina was. But according to the investigation, the mayor of Madrid must have known at some point that it was him because he called him to thank him for the donation he had made of masks after signing the contracts worth 15 million euros and obtaining a profit of one million euros in his case and five million euros in the case of Luceño.