The National Court orders the closure of the investigation into the financing of Podemos

The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court has ordered the Central Court of Instruction number 6 to provisionally dismiss the proceedings opened on the financing of Podemos from Venezuela in line with the revelations that the Chavista general put on the table Hugo Carvajal, aka El Pollo.

The National Court orders the closure of the investigation into the financing of Podemos

The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court has ordered the Central Court of Instruction number 6 to provisionally dismiss the proceedings opened on the financing of Podemos from Venezuela in line with the revelations that the Chavista general put on the table Hugo Carvajal, aka El Pollo. He considers that the case is prospective, among other things, because the starting point is before the crime of irregular financing of parties was penalized in Spain, in 2015. He says that if other crimes are detected, they must be investigated separately and if what is seeks is an audit of Podemos, it must be left to the Court of Auditors.

Judge Manuel García Castellón reopened on October 18 the case that his own court had put an end to in 2016 due to lack of evidence that Podemos was illegally financing itself.

He did so based on the testimony of Carvajal, who, facing his extradition to the United States, offered to collaborate with the justice system in case it helped him to stop the delivery, revealing "the existence of economic contributions from the Venezuelan government to finance the activity of the Podemos political party, before and after its constitution as such a political party.

He pointed out, on the one hand, that the formation had received cash and briefcases through Juan Carlos Monedero and, on the other, that Chavismo had continued to inject money through a company, Viu, which already in 2013 would have served to channel funds through Carolina Bescansa and two other sociologists from the field of training. She provided documentation of that movement as well as the money that Hugo Chávez agreed to give in 2008 to the CEPS foundation, the party's seed.

In a car last Friday to which ABC had access, the magistrates thus attend to a resource from the Prosecutor's Office of the National Court, which has been appealing against decisions by the instructor Manuel García Castellón such as analyzing the accounts of that alleged cover company and of the three co-founders of Podemos who would have received funds in 2013. He also reversed his decision to commission the UDEF, a police unit that has been in charge of the investigations, to find out if Monedero was in Venezuela on the dates Carvajal indicated.

But while that appeal was being settled, the police team delivered its report and, in light of the evidence it had found, requested additional steps, such as accessing the financial ownership files of individuals and companies, and the judge decided to order them. .

This led to a new appeal from the Prosecutor's Office that directly requested the dismissal of the proceedings. This is what is now estimated by the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court, which in a car last Friday to which ABC had access, concludes that this police report "is based on certain investigations that have already been described as clearly prospective in nature" and, consequently, the proceedings that were ordered from that work, are also.

“They clearly go beyond the only object of the case that the a quo artificially expands to investigate possible crimes that cannot be understood related to illegal financing, as this is then atypical, especially when it is not only intended to economically investigate different natural and legal persons, we insist, oblivious to the object of the procedure, but rather that it intends to "supervise" the financing of a political party, this being the competence of the Court of Auditors," says the resolution.

As he explains, "any activity that occurred before the classification of the crime of illegal financing of a political party, is outside the object of the procedure and the behaviors that could constitute other crimes, in no way connected or instrumental to a non-existent crime of illicit financing, attributable either to natural persons, or to legal entities - falsehoods, money laundering, against public finances, etc. - should be investigated in another procedure and this whenever there is a true notitia criminis as reasonable suspicion«.

In this sense, it should be remembered that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office has been following proceedings for two years that involve the same alleged front company indicated by Hugo Carvajal, Viu, which has an international division and a Venezuelan one. These indications compiled by the UDEF in its first approach to the analysis of the testimonies of both El Pollo and the protected witnesses who have passed through the National High Court could be redirected to those inquiries, according to the sources of the investigation consulted by this newspaper.

"The facts that before the introduction in the Criminal Code of the crime of illegal financing of political parties could be typified as a crime of false documents, money laundering or against public finances, must be investigated in a procedure other than Preliminary Proceedings 79/2016, whose object is the possible illicit financing of Podemos", says the resolution, to add: "It is not possible, as the a quo intends, ignoring the criteria of the room, to extend the procedure in a prospective instruction against people who are members or have been members of said political party , as well as against persons, individuals or legal entities, who have had a relationship with Podemos.

On the matter of Monedero, whom Carvajal and one of the protected witnesses located receiving money in cash, first in Caracas, and then in Spain in 2017, the UDEF had managed to verify that Ramón Antonio Gordils, who was President of the Banco de Comercio Abroad -BANCOEX- and later Director, representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the Executive Board of Banco de Alba traveled to Madrid in May/June and July 2017.

However, for the court, "even when it is true" that this displacement occurred, "the lack of corroboration" of these testimonies, "which speak of the possible use of the 'diplomatic bag,' is understood to be insufficient" to continue with the investigation. It was $2.5 million, according to Chicken and the other witness.

“Regarding the events after July 1, 2015, there are only references to protected witness number 1 of the knowledge, through third parties, of a possible delivery of money from Venezuela to people linked to the PODEMOS political party in 2017. This witness, in turn, is the source of knowledge of the same fact that Mr. Carvajal claims to have”, says the resolution, reproducing the same terms that he used in March to veto the proceedings.

«It should be added -continues the Third Section in relation to Pollo- that he is a fugitive from justice in the United States of America and his «testimony» must be valued with the prevention of pursuing a spurious purpose, preventing extradition from materializing already resolved judicially and approved by the Government of Spain. He recalls that protected witness number 2 came to "advocate for the freedom of Carvajal Barrios in order to obtain additional information."

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