Radio host Federico Jiménez Losantos will be tried in Madrid for insinuating on his EsRadio program that former minister José Luis Ábalos helped Venezuelan politician Delcy Rodríguez to introduce suitcases “with cocaine, gold or foreign currency” in Spain. The Provincial Court of Madrid, as this newspaper has learned, has considered an appeal by Ábalos against the decision to file the case and has ordered the court that the presenter be prosecuted for libel and slander for having made that statement without having any type of evidence. evidence or clue.
Ábalos on the Delcy case: I was always very calm
The president of the Libertad Digital group, which includes the website of the same name and the radio station esRadio, referred to the case of Delcy Rodríguez and the role of the then Minister of Transport in the morning show “Es la Mañana”. Jiménez Losantos said that March 23, 2021, among other things, that there were “nine different versions and all false” of the case, alluding to 40 suitcases “with cocaine, with gold or with foreign currency, that you entered, that you put, in Spain, hand in hand with your friend Delcy Rodríguez”, among other things.
The radio host was referring to what is known as the ‘Delcy case’: the Venezuelan vice president landed at the Madrid airport in January 2020 despite being banned from the European Union due to human rights violations in her country. Both the Supreme Court and a court in the Plaza de Castilla in Madrid investigated the case and filed the multiple complaints and complaints about the passage of the Venezuelan president through Spain.
More than a year later, the case was brought up again by Jiménez Losantos on his program and Ábalos decided to take him to court by attributing false collaboration in the illegal introduction of drugs, gold or money into Spain through the airport from Madrid. The Provincial Court already had to force the court to admit the politician’s complaint for processing and now it has also been the one that has forced him to prosecute him and, in practice, to be tried.
The judges understand that Jiménez Losantos should go to the bench because he made those statements about Delcy Rodríguez’s suitcases without having real knowledge of what was inside and based on journalistic information from his own media or even on speculation from Santiago Abascal.
“Without carrying out a specific task of verification, persisting in the statement that Mr. Ábalos had introduced several suitcases in Spain containing cocaine, gold or foreign currency, does not satisfy the canon of veracity, despite which he spread it”, reproach the judges. He could incur insults or slander because, according to this resolution, with his words he could attribute a crime to the former minister. The court that investigated the case had understood that the journalist had spoken protected by freedom of expression.
“Without knowing what the suitcases contained, he did say that they either contained cocaine or contained gold or contained currency, but some of these things. Thus, the complainant could be attributed facts that could be considered a crime against public health, either as a crime of money laundering, or in any case, conduct that, in his capacity as an active politician, could be highly detrimental to his dignity.” , explains the order of the Madrid Court.
Losantos acknowledges that he had no data
The car that elDiario.es has been able to examine reveals the allegations with which Jiménez Losantos obtained the file of the case, now revoked. The announcer justified his words by stating that he did not state categorically that there was cocaine in the suitcases, but rather speculated on various possibilities based on what he had read in various information and had heard from some politicians. He also openly acknowledged that he made those statements without knowing what was in the suitcases that the Venezuelan president’s entourage brought.
In his statement as a defendant, this writing collects, Jiménez Losantos “acknowledges that he does not really know what the suitcases in question contained and that he did not carry out any investigation in this regard, but merely reproduced information that was circulating.” The journalist is defended in this case by María Dolores Márquez de Prado, former Supreme Court prosecutor and member of the office that he shares with former judge Javier Gómez de Liaño, her husband.
That “information that circulated”, specifies the Madrid Court, was an article from its Libertad Digital media outlet, a news item from El Independiente and statements attributed to Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox, and Ana Oramas, deputy in Congress for the Canary Coalition . None of this information or statements, say the judges, gave truth to the announcer’s statements.
The magistrates even affirm that more than a year after the events Jiménez Losantos “should have known” that there was no judicial investigation “for the alleged introduction of illicit substances or foreign currency or gold into national territory” neither against Ábalos “nor against any other person” and that all ramifications of the case were filed. “This is how it was published in the Libertad Digital medium that the defendant directs,” they add.
The result is that Federico Jiménez Losantos will have to be prosecuted by the court that opened proceedings as a result of the Ábalos complaint, which implies that the journalist will be tried, although in this case the Prosecutor’s Office has opted for the filing of the proceedings. The court understood that the announcer spoke protected by freedom of expression but now the Court recalls that he has recognized that he did not verify the truth of what he said and that this is a requirement of the Constitutional Court. “The veracity of the statement spread by the defendant has not been proven.”