The former president rejects any knowledge of the illegal operation to steal compromising information from Bárcenas for the PP
“If you are not going to believe me, I do not know why you bring me here,” lamented Mariano Rajoy when he had already more than an hour and a half of questions. The former chief of the Executive appeared this Monday in Congress in the commission on the ‘kitchen operation’, with which he spied on the ex-treasurer of the PP Luis Barcenas to steal documents with information about irregular financing of the party. The events occurred at least in 2012 and 2013, according to Judge Manuel García-Castellón, responsible for the case and that he has proposed to prosecute former Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz and his police leadership, freeing Rajoy himself from all responsibility, whom he did not even call as a witness.
The former president denied any knowledge about the ‘kitchen’, denied having met or communicated in any way with former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo (who has designated him as the head of the illegal operation) and also ruled out that there was a box b in his party. Rajoy appealed at various times to the presumption of innocence, he asked that it be kept “until it is broken by a firm resolution.” It was particularly striking that he defended the innocence of Fernandez Diaz: The former minister appealed in September the “hasty” decision of the judge to conclude the investigation and considered “simplistic and easy to encapsulate” the responsibilities of the ‘kitchen’ only in the Ministry of the Interior, insinuating that García-Castellón would have to aim at the most high of the Government and of the PP. This is: Rajoy himself.
“I do not know Mr. Villarejo. I have never spoken with him; I am not aware that he has sent me any message and I have never in my life sent him a message”
Accompanied by deputies
The former chief executive came to the room accompanied by several deputies of the PP, among them his ex-minister Ana Pastor and the spokesperson for the parliamentary group, Cuca Gamarra. The face to face were almost all harsh, with special mutual animosity in the case of Felipe Sicily (PSOE) and Gabriel Rufián (ERC).
Sicilia, who was the first to open Question Time, made the main ones. “Have you ever spoken with Villarejo?” Answer: “I do not know Mr. VIllarejo and I do not even know that I have seen him anywhere. I never met with Mr. Villarejo. I never spoke to him; I do not know that he has sent me any message and never in my life have I sent him a message, “replied Rajoy.
“Bárcenas and Villarejo defend themselves as they deem appropriate and convenient and, since they have the right to lie, they say what they want”
Another: “Does the lady [María Dolores] Did Cospedal communicate to you that he had meetings with Mr. Villarejo at the headquarters of Genoa? “The question arises because there are audios revealed in 2018 in which the content of a meeting of Cospedal at the national headquarters of the PP with the ex-commissioner on the information of irregular financing that contained the famous ‘pen drive’ of Bárcenas and the ex-secretary general asks the police if he could do “some specific job” for the game. Answer: “No, she has explained herself and the judge, who had decided to investigate her, has finally decided not to”.
Question about the shredder
“Mr. Bárcenas has said before the judge, and in this commission, that he gave you in his office some documents showing the liquidation of box b of the PP and that you put those documents in a shredder. Were you aware of a box b in the PP before the investigation of the ‘Gürtel ‘case? “. Answer:” Neither I nor anyone from the PP. Neither I was aware of nor has any court said so (…) [Luis] Bárcenas and the lord [José Manuel] Villarejo have serious problems in the courts and They defend themselves as they deem appropriate and convenient and, as they have the right to lie, they say what they want, “he said.
He hadn’t been in the room for 15 minutes when Rajoy had already given the headlines he wanted: to reject any participation in the police operation, reduce credibility to Villarejo and Bárcenas and deny the existence of the box b. On this last issue, Rufián and Edmundo Bal (Citizens) abounded.
Rufián and the copy of the sentence
The republican deputy read the explanatory statement of the sentence of the first period of the Gürtel, in which it is said that the PP maintained an accounting framework parallel to the official one for years, and accused Rajoy of lying. Rufián got up and gave the former president a copy of the sentence. The accusation unnerved the former president. “You can’t come here and ask me ‘why are you lying’. Take it for granted that I am lying and I am not lying,” he snapped.
“There are many people here who have come to express their prejudices and to accuse with half truths or with half lies”
Rajoy insisted that the only sentence that has condemned the PP he did it as a “profitable participant” [por actos electorales que la red Gürtel pagó en Majadahonda y Pozuelo], a figure that “demands that the convicted person ignore” that a crime is being committed, in this case the use of black money. However, there are already two judgments that have declared the existence of box b of the conservatives credited: the judgment of the early Gürtel era and that of Bárcenas’ ‘papers’ on the works at the headquarters.
The commission of inquiry has finished with the former conservative leader the round of appearances and will now draw up its conclusions.
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