The Provincial Court of Madrid has ordered the judge in charge of the so-called Neurona case to expand the expert report that he commissioned on the cost of the services provided by the consultant to Podemos in the framework of the campaign for the general elections of April 2019.
Specifically, the magistrates of Section 30 of the Provincial Court have considered it pertinent to include another 134 files in the analysis that the expert in charge of drafting the report must carry out.
This is how it has been pronounced in an order dated May 18 -as reported by Europa Press- in which it partially estimates the appeal that Podemos presented against the resolution of the head of the Investigating Court Number 42 of Madrid for which the drafting was commissioned last January of the expert report.
It should be remembered that on April 26 the judge in the Neurona case ordered the search for a new expert - given the refusal of the previously appointed one - to determine how much the work that the consultant carried out for the formation then led by Pablo Iglesias cost.
Judge Juan José Escalonilla agreed that the expert should write a report assessing all the services provided by the workers hired by Neurona Consulting: the 48 videos made after strategic segmentation work, the 48 graphic designs made by Waldemar Aguado Butanda and the five images created by Vicente León Camú Astudillo, as well as the coverage of seven electoral events.
Podemos appealed the judge's decision and insisted that Neurona's work was not "only 48 videos, 48 designs plus another five, and seven electoral acts." Thus, they ensured that it was a global service in all areas, so that not only multiple services were left out of the expertise, but also all the advice and consultancy that does not have proper physical support.
Although from the purple formation they have considered the assignment irrelevant, the Madrid Court has defended that the expert opinion ordered by the judge is "necessary and fits the purpose of this investigation." In this sense, he specified that the report "has no other purpose than to verify or rule out the possibility that the Podemos political party may have incurred in a possible electoral crime."
Thus, in 43 pages, it has explained that the commission of the electoral crime "also fits when the electoral funds are used to pay electoral expenses for a price greater than its real cost in order to distract part of the existing numerary in the electoral accounts. for a purpose other than the service attributed, concealing said distraction by setting an excessive price, not real and not consistent with the services actually provided.
Within the framework of the order, the Madrid Court has indicated that in the 363,000-euro contract signed by Neurona and Podemos "the stipulated amount is certainly imprecise because it is agreed as a global price for each and every one of the services as it is not broken down by items such services and their corresponding cost.
In addition, it has warned that "the invoice provided by Neurona (...) does not even meet the requirements" of Royal Decree 1619/2012, which approves the Regulation that regulates billing obligations.
In his opinion, "it is not admissible when it comes to the provision of public funds" that Podemos did not demand another invoice from Neurona "detailed for the services provided with their corresponding amounts."
After supporting the magistrate's decision to order the expert report, Section 30 has partially estimated the party's appeal and has ordered that the analysis be expanded and another 134 files included.
In line, the magistrates have indicated that once the testimonial statements have been taken via rogatory commission to Mexico, the parties could request an extension or clarification of the expert opinion, because - in their opinion - wait for the interrogations to take place to write the report « It would entail a delay in the investigation, which is in itself incompatible” with the provisions of the law.