The judge refuses to charge the high-ranking Madrid City Council official who negotiated the purchase of masks, as requested by the parties on the left

Judge Adolfo Carretero has refused to charge the Treasury and Personnel delegate, Engracia Hidalgo, and the general coordinator of Human Resources of the City Council, Elena Collado, who will come to testify as a witness on May 27.

The judge refuses to charge the high-ranking Madrid City Council official who negotiated the purchase of masks, as requested by the parties on the left

Judge Adolfo Carretero has refused to charge the Treasury and Personnel delegate, Engracia Hidalgo, and the general coordinator of Human Resources of the City Council, Elena Collado, who will come to testify as a witness on May 27.

In an order from the Court of Instruction number 47 of Madrid, to which Europa Press has had access, the magistrate rejects both the request of the Mixed Group, PSOE and Podemos that Collado attend as accused as well as the request of the purple formation to charge Hidalgo for an alleged crime of prevarication as responsible for signing the agreement with the Municipal Funeral Services Company (EMSFCM) in the purchase of medical supplies during the first wave of the pandemic.

The magistrate suspended Elena Collado's statement, initially scheduled for May 9, while waiting to determine whether she did so as a witness or as a defendant after the Mixed Group's request that she attend as an investigator, given that through The three contracts object of the procedure were channeled from his person.

A petition to which both PSOE and Podemos adhered, the latter party also requesting the statement as accused of Engracia Hidalgo, for the alleged commission of crimes of embezzlement of public funds, prevarication and fraud by complicity or necessary cooperation. In addition, both the accusations of socialists and the purple formation added the crime of influence peddling.

The person in charge of Purchasing of the Madrid City Council at the beginning of the pandemic was the person who negotiated with the Malaysian company Leno, for which Luis Medina and Alberto Luceño were intermediaries, the purchase of masks, gloves and anti-Covid tests at a time when that the market was "broken" by the lack of supply.

In his brief, the magistrate instructing the mask case dismantles the petitions of the private accusations and, although he maintains that the one with the greatest consistency is the embezzlement of public funds, he rejects his petition for all of them. Thus, he has set the next 27th at 12:30 p.m. for his statement in court as a witness.

Both for the case of misappropriation of funds and for that of unfair administration, the judge alleges, there must be a "clear fraud by action and omission" that in both cases does not apply to Elena Collado's actions. “There is no evidence that he appropriated public money or allowed those under investigation to appropriate it,” argues Carretero, who also stresses that the person in charge of Purchasing of the City Council “was deceived” by Medina and Luceño regarding the amount of “their excessive commissions.

Along these lines, he also recalls that the municipal official denounced the "deception" of the defective gloves to Luceño as soon as he became aware of it and also warned that he would put the case in the hands of the Police. "It cannot be said that Mrs. Collado unfairly administered the municipal assets despite the fact that she did not have the power to do so," she alleges.

The magistrate also maintains that "there is not even the slightest indication of a possible crime of necessary cooperation, complicity or cover-up" in the alleged aggravated fraud. He points out, in this sense, that he did not know Medina and Luceño at all prior to the signing of the contracts "nor is there evidence that he received any money from them."

"Rather to the contrary, because she was deceived by the commission agents, who hid the amount of her commissions from her, which inflated the price of the contracts in an excessive way," Judge Carretero alleges, who also rules out influence peddling to the extent that that "nothing is said about which official or authority exerted pressure to sign the contracts and what his influence consisted of."

In the same brief, Judge Carretero also rejects Podemos's request for Engracia Hidalgo to testify as accused of prevarication. "It is totally unrelated to this procedure, prosecuting the nature of the agreement signed by the City Council and the Funeral Home, without there being proof that 'ad hoc' was used in these contracts to evade the control of advance payments by municipal intervention", indicates the.

In that case, the judge notes, it would be necessary to impute all the signatories of the Agreement, "which is also unreasonable", and would require a "prospective investigation".

Against the order, which is dated this Friday, there is an appeal for reform and a subsidiary appeal within five days and a direct appeal within five days.


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