Tuesday, January 25

Cospedal refuses to testify in the Kitchen commission and alleges the resources against the file of his accusation

The former secretary general of the PP María Dolores de Cospedal has refused to testify this morning before the commission of the Congress of Deputies that investigates the espionage of Luis Bárcenas with reserved funds. Cospedal has argued that the file of the case against her that Judge Manuel García Castellón issued in July is being appealed, among others, by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, but also by the popular accusations brought by PSOE and Unidos Podemos in the separate piece of the Villarejo case . On two occasions, Cospedal has linked both resources of the procedural representations of the two parties to excuse himself from answering a single question that the different parliamentary spokesmen have asked him.

The one who was secretary general of the PP between 2008 and 2018 has assured that she intended to declare the first time she was called to testify before the commission, on June 2, and that she had thus transferred it to the president of said commission. Judge García Castellón decided to sign the indictment of Cospedal and her husband, businessman Ignacio López del Hierro, that same day, while he declared the latter and hours before his wife was to do so, nine months after Anticorruption requested that will become investigated.

“I came to testify and I did not testify because you suspended my appearance. Now I am not declaring because the Prosecutor’s Office has appealed. It is not an excuse, it is that PSOE and Podemos are the one who has made me have to maintain, among others, that position ”, said María Dolores de Cospedal about the appeals against the filing order and her appearance today in Congress. The TVE cameras captured that day the former number two of the PP indignant because she had gone to Congress without knowing that her appearance had been suspended, despite the fact that all the media had reported that decision in the morning. Cospedal said today that he received an email ten minutes before his scheduled appearance time.

Before the spokesmen began to ask, Cospedal said that he was availing himself of his “constitutional right not to testify.” The first round of questions has been for the socialist spokesman, Felipe Sicilia, has reproached him for preferring “to pass the embarrassment of not declaring” to the fact that new audios of Villarejo or other indications that may leave her in the future as a liar may appear. Like the majority of spokespersons, and in the face of Cospedal’s refusal to testify, Sicilia has devoted himself to reviewing the numerous indications against the former number two of the party that are working in the judicial case.

In the case of the Socialist spokesman, Sicilia has paid special attention to the figure of Commissioner Andrés Gómez Gordo, accused of making part of the payments with funds reserved for the Bárcenas family driver and who entered the parapolice operation as the “security chief “of Cospedal in Castilla-La Mancha, despite the fact that his formal position was that of Director of Documentation and Analysis of the Community Board of Castilla-La Mancha. “It was a figure that you used for something else: to pay Sergio Ríos with the funds reserved,” said Sicilia.

Cospedal has limited himself to silently looking at the spokespersons, although on some occasion, as in the turn of the United Podemos spokesperson, Ismael Cortés, he has avoided attending to him in most of his intervention and has dedicated himself to writing on paper. Cortés has read the entry on Villarejo’s agenda in which the commissioner wrote: “Cospe. I fully support everything. He sends me José L. Orti with 100 and promises 50 more on Monday. I remain to inform her.”

The Popular Party, for its part, has begun to prepare the ground this Thursday for Mariano Rajoy’s appearance next Monday. The spokesman for the conservatives, Luis Santamaría, has attacked the president of the commission, the socialist Isaura Leal, and the legal services of the chamber for allowing the spokesmen to demand explanations from the appearing parties of issues that go beyond the framework of the commission. Santamaría has described the attitude of the president and her legal advisers as “pantocratic and silent” on two occasions, while also criticizing Leal for the way in which Cospedal was called off and informed of it on June 2.

Despite having been critical of her in other appearances, the PP spokesman had not referred to the president of the commission that way before. Then it was the turn of the Vox spokesperson, José María Figaredo, who has asked the president not to record Santamaría’s statements regarding the members of the Chamber’s legal service.

The spokesperson for the Plural Parliamentary Group, Josep Maria Pagés i Massò, has made reference precisely to the next appearance of Rajoy, who has asked himself “in what situation” is Rajoy, who has not been charged, and therefore is not pending appeal, after that Cospedal has alluded to that circumstance as a reason for not answering.

The only interventions of Cospedal have been to, at the end of the shifts of the spokesmen, specify some question that he considered. It has happened with the spokesman for EH Bildu, Oskar Matute. “I have not said in this commission that I have amnesia or that I do not know anything. I am not amnesiac or anything like that,” said Cospedal, before insisting that if he did not declare it was because of his procedural situation.