“Through this document I inform the Public Prosecutor of a series of facts so that, studied and verified, and in accordance with the provisions of Article 773.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law, it may proceed to carry out as many procedures as it deems pertinent to the verification of the behaviors that are exposed, which indicatively could constitute the crimes of illegal financing of political parties, documentary falsification, prevarication, embezzlement, coercion and criminal organization”. This is how the complaint that the Vox councilor Vicente Montañez filed before the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor at the Valencia City Council Vicente Montañez begins, to which elDiario.es has had access.
A Vox councilor in Orihuela: “I am unsubscribing, I refused to transfer money from the group to the party and I received threats”
The 10-page document recounts how the party led by Santiago Abascal, after the 2019 elections, tried to articulate a mechanism to absorb the economic contributions received by parliamentary and municipal groups from the different autonomous chambers and city councils.
After emphasizing that the municipal group of Valencia (like those of the rest of the most important city councils) received a circular with the procedure to follow to transfer the income to the party and that, after carrying out the pertinent consultation with the municipal legal services, denied as it was a procedure contrary to law, the complaint explains that the different deputies and councilors were summoned to a virtual meeting that took place on December 2, 2020.
Montañez recounts the aforementioned meeting in great detail and even provides the audio recordings of it as proof. In it, the manager of the far-right formation, Juanjo Aizcorbe, and the general secretary, Javier Ortega Smith, ask the deputies and councilors to transfer the subsidy from the municipal or parliamentary groups to the party as collaboration agreements.
According to the complaint, at the meeting, Aizcorbe explains that in 2019 the subsidies to municipal groups were lost, and that with the returns of the unspent amounts “neither the political project of Vox nor the citizen has benefited.”
This is what sets in motion the search for a formula for “financing political parties” (in a clear allusion to Vox) with the contributions of municipal groups and parliamentary groups. Likewise, it recognizes that the parliamentary groups have already signed collaboration agreements “through which the party receives income that comes from municipal and parliamentary groups and has the counterpart of some services.” And then, always according to the complaint, he acknowledges that “the money that was lost last year did not go to the party and did go to the institutions.” This clearly supposes, according to the complainant, an interest in articulating a mechanism to empty the coffers of the municipal groups for the benefit of the financing of the political party, “this being a clear example of illegal financing of parties.”
Finally, Javier Ortega Smith stated in said meeting: “The agreements will help strengthen our municipal team.” And he adds: “We have different numbers, we are a single project…”. For this reason, it endorses and supports the proposal and encourages signing the collaboration agreements, since it is necessary to be aware that “everything costs money, and that we have all become accustomed to the fact that elections are coming up and we have a communication team that designs a bells…. but all that does not fall from heaven, all that for which each one is a councilor is given by a national structure”. Ortega Smith drops that he has to be paid from the municipal groups, “which clearly could be an embezzlement of public funds,” says the complaint.
“From the above, it can be deduced that Vox establishes a clear framework to embezzle public funds from municipal groups, in an organized way (with the active participation of its top leaders), with the use of tricks aimed at deceiving and extorting with not belonging or what would be worse, not having in the next mandate those who are not willing to submit to the commission of the alleged crimes ”, reads the document presented to the Prosecutor’s Office.
In addition, Montañez affirms in the complaint that “after the complainant’s repeated refusals to participate in the continuous calls by the Intermunicipal Coordination Area (ACI) and those responsible for express instructions from the leadership of the Vox party in different models of illegal financing of the party, he has been harassed and humiliated privately and publicly and has been warned on numerous occasions that, if he does not collaborate, the party will not count on him for the next lists”.
The document then highlights that, as reported by elDiario.es, on October 6, 2022, the party leadership sends an invoice of 8,239 euros to be covered by the municipal group of Valencia “for services that had not been requested, nor provided, nor budgeted at any time.
Therefore, according to the complaint: “Since no service under the agreements or this allocation of costs had been carried out, nor was there any documentary support, the allocation could not be ordered by the political party Vox, a situation that, as I have It was demonstrated that it was known by all the members of the organization involved and it was intended, through deception and pressure, to make me incur one or more criminal offenses, under the blackmail of not continuing on future lists”.
The complaint includes another example of these practices in Alzira: “Informed by colleagues from other towns such as Alzira, they provide me with documentation proving that the allocation of municipal groups was being misappropriated for the payment of political party headquarters, under the threat to the councilors of not counting on those who did not participate in the financing of the venues. An example is that of the Alzira headquarters, where we provide as a document the lease contract signed on June 12, 2020 […] for an amount of 3000 euros per year”.
For all of the above, Montañez asks the Prosecutor’s Office through the complaint to “please admit it, issue an opening decree specifying the facts to be investigated, the identities of the people investigated and the legal qualification, without prejudice to further qualification and processing of all ex officio, carry out as many investigative procedures as may be appropriate and finally file before the competent Court the corresponding legal actions for the purification of criminal responsibilities if they exist”.