The former leader of the CDC, Víctor Terradellas, has admitted before the judge that Carles Puigdemont met twice with supposed emissaries from the "Russian government entourage" who offered support to an independent Catalonia, but has denied that the former president entrusted those contacts to him and that he gave them credit.
According to legal sources, Terradellas has declared for three hours as a defendant before the judge investigating the alleged diversion of funds from the Barcelona Provincial Council to foundations related to the CDC, including Catmon and Igman, which he administered together with the JxCat deputy Francesc de Dalmases.
An audio found on Terradellas's mobile, a recording of a conversation with former CDC and ERC officials David Madí and Xavier Vendrell in which he talks about alleged support in Russia for independence, gave rise to the so-called Volhov operation, a macro- case in which the judge investigates the alleged diversion of funds under the protection of the procés.
Much of the interrogation by the investigating judge of the person under investigation, who confirmed that on 24 and 25 October 2017, days before the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (DUI), he participated in two meetings with Puigdemont and some alleged emissaries from the "Russian government environment" at the Casa dels Canonges, the former president's official residence.
The first of the meetings was attended by Sergey Motin, a deceased Russian citizen who was being treated in a clinic in Barcelona, and the Catalan Jordi Sardà Bonvehí, who was involved in an alleged scam with a gas sales contract to Ukraine, while the second was attended by former Russian diplomat and businessman Nikolai Sadovnikov.
As detailed by the investigator, the alleged Russian emissaries assured Puigdemont that, in the event that Catalonia became an independent state, they could help finance it through cryptocurrencies and also make 10,000 soldiers available to him.
Terradellas, who was responsible for International Relations at the CDC, has stressed that Puigdemont followed the meeting with a "stunned" gesture and did not give any credibility to the alleged Russian emissaries, as evidenced by the fact that he never saw those people again.
The former CDC official, who has denied that he was the one who recorded the conversation with Madí and Vendrell about the 10,000 soldiers offered by the Russians, has acknowledged that after that meeting he traveled to Moscow and met Sadovnikov, but has stressed that it was of a meeting for personal reasons.
In fact, Terradellas has insisted that his gropings with the Russians were due to his interest in international politics, but that the efforts to contact them were always made at his own risk, without Puigdemont or other members of his party asking him. did any order.
During the appearance, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Fernando Maldonado, who opposes several of the lines of investigation opened by the judge in the Volhov case, expressed his objections to the fact that the instructor directed his interrogation at the alleged Russian contacts of the procés and did not to the diversion of funds in subsidies from the Barcelona Provincial Council, which is why Terradellas was formally summoned.
Regarding this alleged corrupt plot, Terradellas has denied that the foundations that received the subsidies from the Diputación investigated served as a "washer" to divert public funds from the provincial corporation to the procés or to the CDC.
The person under investigation has also disassociated himself from the processing of the Provincial Council subsidies under suspicion and has hidden behind the fact that the person who managed them in the stage under investigation -the years 2012 and 2013- was Francesc de Dalmases.
Precisely, last year the investigating judge raised a reasoned statement to the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) to open an investigation to the deputy of Junts, given the indications that he allegedly profited from more than 224,000 euros from grants for cooperation Barcelona Provincial Council, Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat.
However, the civil and criminal chamber of the TSJC, in accordance with the criteria of the Prosecutor's Office, refused to open an investigation and returned the case to the Barcelona judge to complete the investigation with more diligence, given the lack of specificity of the indications that contributed against the appraised.