The Prosecutor’s Office is convinced that political officials of the Government of Mariano Rajoy are behind Kitchen, the espionage operation against Luis Bárcenas without judicial control.
The public ministry insists on that idea in a new letter sent to the judge after Jorge Fernández Díaz, a former Minister of the Interior, and his former number two , Francisco Martínez, declared that they never ordered or supervised this operation.
A testimony that contradicts the version of the police leadership, which affirmed to the magistrate that his political superiors were aware.
Neither the repeated refusals of former Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz nor the excuses of Francisco Martínez, former Secretary of State for Security, convince the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
The public prosecutor does not believe that Operation Kitchen, the parapolitical plot hatched in 2013 to spy on former treasurer Luis Bárcenas with the aim of snatching compromising roles for senior PP positions, was gestated only in the dome of the Police, whose highest responsible in that time, the commissioner Eugenio Pino, is also accused.
Researchers aim higher. And they insist on their thesis: behind were “government leaders” of Mariano Rajoy.
The prosecutors, in a letter on December 10 and to which EL PAÍS had access, emphasize the leading role of members of the former popular Executive.
“Between 2013 and 2015, both by the leaders of the PP in the Government and from the top of the Ministry of the Interior, a device coordinated by the Deputy Police Operational Directorate, internally called Kitchen or Cocinero”, underlines the public ministry, which adds:
“This was aimed at obtaining information about the place or places where Bárcenas and his wife, Rosalía Iglesias, would hide compromising material for the PP and its senior leaders.”
The alleged objective: to obtain those documents before Judge Pablo Ruz , who was already investigating the opaque accounting of the conservative party at that time.
EL PAÍS had published in January 2013 those baptized as Bárcenas papers that reflected the existence of a box b in the PP and the former treasurer had shown his willingness to collaborate with the magistrate of the National Court. To finance the illegal deployment of espionage, reserved funds were diverted.
Judge Manuel García-Castellón, instructor of the Kitchen case , has long maintained a similar line to the Prosecutor’s Office. In a September order, the magistrate already affirmed that behind the operation were “superior or directive bodies of the General State Administration” from the Rajoy stage.
In fact, he then accused Fernández Díaz, who came to testify last October – in addition to participating, weeks later, in a confrontation with Martínez , his former right-hand man in the Interior.
Of course, he has not accepted, for the moment, the request of the Prosecutor’s Office to also impute María Dolores de Cospedal, former secretary general of the PP and former Minister of Defense. The public prosecutor attributes a “personal interest” in the espionage operation to Bárcenas.
In its letter of December 10, sent to the judge, the Prosecutor’s Office also describes the alleged organization chart of the Kitchen plot.
Immediately below the Interior political leadership was allegedly Commissioner Pino, then Deputy Director of Operations and who was identified in 2017 by the opinion of the Congressional Investigative Commission as the patriotic police officer who, in Fernández’s stage Díaz as Minister of the Interior , dedicated himself to “obstructing the investigation of the corruption scandals that affected the PP” and persecuting “political adversaries.”
According to Anti-Corruption, this high police command had “abused his functions” to commission the illegal operation to a group of police officers.
The Public Ministry insists on pointing out the commissioners José Manuel Villarejo, Enrique García Castaño and Marcelino Martín Blas; as well as the then chief inspector Andrés Gómez Gordo, who worked as an advisor for Cospedal during her time as president of Castilla-La Mancha .
They were joined by Chief Inspectors Miguel Ángel Fuentes Gago and Bonifacio Díaz Sevillano. And, of course, Sergio Ríos, alias The Cook , Bárcenas’ driver captured by the plot and who would later join the Corps.
All of them knew, as the public ministry insists, details of Kitchen: they learned of the contacts with Ríos so that he would work for the plot in exchange for money taken from reserved funds – the National Court has already credited the payment of more than 50,000 euros – and facilities for him to join the Police.
Amounts “deviated from the strict legal purposes provided for their authorization and use,” according to the Prosecutor’s Office. In fact, the public prosecution has asked Judge García-Castellón to collect more information about it.
And the magistrate, through an order issued on December 21, has approved more proceedings to investigate “dysfunctions and irregularities”in the use of these funds in the face of “possible criminal responsibilities” of those then in charge of managing this item.
The two top Interior politicians at the stage under suspicion, Jorge Fernández Díaz and Francisco Martínez, have always thrown balls out in this regard. During his statement before the judge, the former Minister of the Interior pointed to the former Secretary of State for Security as responsible for its control and pointed out that he did not participate in anything, insisting that he learned of Kitchen’s existence from the press.
His old right hand , meanwhile, assured the judge that they both had “very general information” about the funds reserved. Martínez also acknowledged to the magistrate that in 2013 they learned of the existence of the device to capture Bárcenas’ driver, but that he always believed it was legal.
The investigation commission of the Kitchen case will start this January if the provisions of Congress are met. It will be from then on when doubts about the scope of this initiative begin to clear up, on which PSOE and Podemos maintain divergent positions.
The list of appearing parties has yet to be closed and the Socialists have not, for now, verbalized their predisposition to aim for the highest. They want that, at first, they only come to declare positions and operational police directors so that they explain which politicians gave them the instructions.
So that, once they are heard, decide whether to aim higher. But the coalition led by Pablo Iglesias aspires, on the other hand, to cite Mariano Rajoy, former president of the Government; Pablo Casado, current president of the popular;