Almost a month after the National Court definitively shelved the open case against María Dolores de Cospedal, former general secretary of the Popular Party, for 'Operation Kitchen' - the Criminal Chamber did not see sufficient evidence that she knew of the espionage parapolice to Luis Bárcenas- new audios known this Monday would show that the former minister was aware of the Interior Ministry's attempt to hide the scandal of the 'box B' that the former treasurer handled.
It is a conversation between the curator José Manuel Villarejo and María Dolores de Cospedal, lasting 25 minutes and surreptitiously recorded by the former. It took place in the first months of 2013 and in it the former number two of the PP asked the police officer -then active- that "the little book (from Bárcenas)... it would be better to be able to stop it", as they have published joint El País and a new digital newspaper, Fuentes Informadas, created a few days ago.
The context of this conversation took place after the publication of the so-called 'Bárcenas papers' in January 2013. A circumstance that unleashed a dust storm within the PP, then gripped by the 'Gürtel case' and the knowledge that its former treasurer he had a hidden fortune in Switzerland that reached 47 million euros.
These annotations collected that almost the entire leadership of the PP, including former president Mariano Rajoy, had been charging opaque bonuses to the treasury. Funds managed by Bárcenas originating in large part from illegal donations from contractor companies of administrations governed by the popular.
The collection of bonuses in envelopes had been carried out for 20 years before, since 1990, according to the annotations of Bárcenas. And the papers recorded that almost all the high popular positions of that time and successive ones had received money from the party's parallel accounts.
After these events in the PP the alarm spread. And a few months later, a vigilante operation called 'Kitchen' was supposedly launched from the Ministry of the Interior to find out if Bárcenas had new evidence in his possession. Follow-ups were carried out against the former treasurer and his family, and a private premises belonging to his wife, Rosalía Iglesias, was entered to retrieve documentation.
These facts will be judged shortly in the separate piece of the 'Villarejo case' referring to the aforementioned 'Operation Kitchen'. The nickname that the commissioner gave to this plan in memory of the Bárcenas driver Sergio Ríos, who was captured by those involved, received a salary from reserved funds from the Interior and ended up joining the Corps staff.
Cospedal feared that the then PP treasurer would leak the documents. In the conversation known now -and which is not included in the summary- she unburdens herself with Villarejo and indicated, among other things, that she is willing to sue anyone who takes for granted the validity of the bonuses to which the newspaper that published these notes, although he also urges him, if he can, to stop their dissemination since he had heard of a "little notebook" where the former treasurer had such payments noted down.
The aforementioned makes speculations about the people in her party who have been able to verify the existence of the aforementioned "little book" with the bonuses and their recipients to the journalist Eduardo Inda, currently director of 'OK Diario'. Bárcenas was then the ogre of the PP and Cospedal his staunchest enemy.
In the audio, Villarejo is heard saying that "this bastard from Bárcenas has to be laminated", to which Cospedal adds: "I have that clearer than water." The complete audio would show that Cospedal knew of its existence and, furthermore, tried by all means to prevent it from being published.
The commissioner recorded the conversation and kept it along with many others in his home in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid). He was there when the Internal Affairs unit of the Police, within the framework of the 'Tandem operation', searched his house and offices and took all the audios he had of his last 30 years of work.
«My intention was not to divulge those audios; I wanted them so that, once I retired, I could use the data to write my memoirs with what I could use without harming anyone, but the intervention of the CNI in collusion with the Prosecutor's Office ruined everything and someone leaked them with the purpose of harming me, as has happened“, the commissioner explained months ago to questions from journalists.
Criminally, the route of this conversation is diffuse. On April 20, the Criminal Chamber issued an order in which it declared firm, and without the possibility of appeal, the resolution in which it dismissed the resources of the Prosecutor's Office and the popular accusations (brought by the PSOE and Podemos) against the file of the case to Cospedal and her husband, businessman Ignacio López del Hierro.
The court presided over by Alfonso Guevara justified that it has examined all the conversations, notes and messages that, according to the prosecutor, would prove the involvement of the then general secretary of the PP in 'Kitchen'. And he concluded that the indications "are so weak that they do not justify continuing the investigation against them given the existence of other possibilities of non-illegal participation", since having met with Villarejo does not mean that he knew of espionage.
Likewise, the court added that the same existing evidence "is weakened" by the testimonies of the investigated Jose Manuel Villarejo, Sergio Ríos or the chief inspector Andrés Manuel Gómez Gordo, who worked with Cospedal in the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha. None of the three came to incriminate the couple in the Interior operation, as determined by the magistrates.
To do this, they share the reasoning of the investigating judge, Manuel García Castellón, when he closed the case for them based on the doctrine of the Supreme Court, according to which between the fully accredited indirect facts -Cospedal did see Villarejo- and the data that wants to prove, there must be a "precise and direct" link, which in this case does not exist, they concluded.
However, legal sources consulted affirm that the accusations could ask the judge to incorporate this new audio known this Monday into the instruction before the order to open the oral trial is issued, which would definitively close the door to its reopening.