Tuesday, February 20

Justice closes the door to expand the investigation of the leaks in the Basque medical oppositions of 2018

The Provincial Court of Álava has taken another step towards the definitive closure of the investigation into the complaints of leaks in the medical categories of the oppositions of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza) held in 2018. The court, at the expense of a final order , thus abounds in the decision adopted in July by the fourth of the instructors of this judicial file, Blanca Ester Díaz Pulido, and rejects that the investigation can be extended so that the high officials of the time in the Basque Public Health, including the one who was a director, Jon Darpón, and who resigned in 2019 due to these events. Now a new resolution is missing that ratifies the closure of the proceedings, although there is no date for this pronouncement, according to judicial sources.

The Prosecutor’s Office approves the closure of the investigation of the irregularities in the medical oppositions of the Basque Health

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What was on the table were two different, albeit interconnected, resources. Both had been filed only one of the three accusations, the LAB union, since both the Prosecutor’s Office and ESK had accepted the refusal to continue with the case. The order known now, signed by the magistrates Jesús Poncela, Elena Cabero and Francisco García Romo – who deliberated on this issue in a break in the trial of the ‘Sansoheta case’ on sexual abuse of minors under guardianship -, prevents expanding the investigations to the dome of Osakidetza. “There is no place for trawling. You have to do it with rod and hook. Nor does the accumulation of possible criminal types to be imputed indicated by the appellant shed much clarity on what information of imputed facts could be transferred to those indicated so that they could prepare their defense in the face of that statement, since some of them are attributed a responsibility indirect, remote, by omission, which has a lot to do with hypotheses”, argues the trio of magistrates.

Technically, it is possible that the Court does consider the second resources of LAB and give more time to investigate, although the union assumes that if the new evidence and accusations requested are rejected, it does not make sense to grant more time to the summary. Moreover, the court emphasizes in its ruling that there is an “impossibility” for the Court to “direct the investigation” and amend the plan to the magistrate responsible for the case. According to the sources consulted, this second resource does not have a date to be resolved, which will take a few months for the definitive end of this case. It must be admitted for processing and a period will be opened for all parties to present arguments.

When that happens, it will be up to decide whether to hold a trial with the twenty people who are currently charged between opponents and members of the courts allegedly involved in the irregularities, but the investigation has been lame since not all the cases have been analyzed in these years. examinations of the specialties on which suspicions rested -although those that did appear showed clear signs of anomalies- and there have been long periods of time without a single paper in the procedure has been moved. The defenses are also absolutely convinced that the house of cards will collapse and that everything will come to nothing.

In a statement, LAB has lamented that “it will not be possible to judge the operational nucleus in charge of devising, planning, organizing and executing the entire plot of leaks in the OPE of Osakidetza doctors”. The plant had unsuccessfully tried to prosecute the senior Basque Health officials who, at the time, were resigning in this case, including the former director Darpón and the former general director of Osakidetza, María Jesús Múgica, who had the help of ertzainas and officials to flee from the media when he testified as a witness in this case. “This decision has left the door of impunity open for the former Osakidetza management,” LAB understands, adding: “It is paradoxical that, despite having twenty people under investigation, not a single person with responsibility for the design of the an OPE plagued by leaks is going to testify as a defendant”.

The union also regrets that the exams have not even been reviewed. The third of the four instructors discarded it at the time, arguing that she had no interest, although in those that have appeared, Anesthesia or Traumatology, there are errors and identical wordings and even the same keywords underlined and in capital letters. They contributed “nothing”, she argued. At the beginning of the Osakidetza case, he did not send all the material from his internal investigation either: he concluded that nothing had happened but the testimonies he collected spoke of “tongo” to benefit very specific candidates. In general, in the reported exams, a pattern was repeated in which there were a few high or perfect grades that almost coincided with the number of places at stake and that they were from candidates who worked as interims in the same hospitals from which the members of the court came. .

In the statement in which it has made known its position after the order of the Provincial Court, LAB regrets having been left alone in the fight to keep this cause alive. He criticizes, in fact, that the Prosecutor’s Office and ESK have not supported the request to continue investigating and puts them on the same plane as Osakidetza. “The lack of collaboration from the different directions of Osakidetza has been a constant since minute one. Their attitude has been to deliver -many times with delays and incompletely- the information that, at the impulse of LAB and dropper, the court has been requiring them, thus achieving after this last order, that the examinations of the majority of judicialized categories, guarded by Osakidetza, cannot be analyzed. The lack of ambition and determination to search for the truth has surrounded this investigation that has lasted four years, in which the LAB union has acted as a tractor in the face of the surprising lack of initiatives of the rest of the accusations. It is a constant that at the time Txirrita announced that corrupt practices and ‘white glove’ crimes are neither prosecuted nor punished: “Lapur txikiak kastigatzeko, nonahi badago kartzela. Haundiak hor ikusten ditut, paseoan dabiltzala“ (‘To punish small thieves, they always use jail. There I see the big ones, who are out for a walk’). The lack of support for the rest of the accusations in fundamental proceedings has been a surprising fact and we still do not understand how those who have publicly pointed to the management and spoken of a clientelistic network have not, on any occasion, requested the accusation of the former management, perverting a process by reduce it on many occasions to a short-term media show”, interprets the union.

The Prosecutor’s Office, as this newspaper published, approved the decision not to extend the investigation. The prosecutor in charge of the case, Cristina Vicente Briansó, is on leave and in recent months two prosecutors have temporarily taken over the file, the former chief prosecutor Josu Izaguirre and the ‘number two’ of the institution in the square, Álvaro Delgado. As for ESK, the union to which anesthesiologists Marta Macho, Manoel Martínez and Roberto Sánchez belong, who denounced the existence of leaks from the Arrasate-Mondragón hospital, considered what happened in July a “step” and did not appeal the closure of the investigation. . The defendants’ defenses also applauded that decision.

A trial may still take place, although it is not automatic or taken for granted. When the second LAB appeal is definitively resolved at the Hearing, the ball will return to the court of the instructor and she will have to determine if there is a basis to put all or part of those now investigated on the bench with the documentation and testimonies collected so far. The defendants are the opponents Maite Izaguirre, Esther Bravo, Ricardo Asensio, Manuel Hernando Rydings and Claudia Aramendi and the member of the court María Reyes Vega of the OPE of Angiology; opponents Fe Arcocha, Laura Quintas and Francisco de la Cuesta from Cardiology; the author of the Urology exam, Dr. Javier Extramiana; José Luis Cabriada as author of the Digestive exam; César Augusto Valero, editor of the Anesthesia questions; Eduvigis Álvarez from the Neurophysiology court, José Antonio Elexpuru and Covadonga Fernández from the Neurosurgery jury; Iñigo Echevarría, member of Traumatology; and the opponent Thais Salas and her relative Alfredo Martínez Flórez, as well as the members Andrés Beltrán and Javier Meléndez from Plastic Surgery.

“The procedure has not finished and there are many possibilities that a trial will be held. Among those investigated there are different degrees of participation and although the lowest degrees will be judged, LAB does not renounce that the people who designed the OPE have to explain their actions in it and although they cannot be subject to criminal sanctions, society can know them ”, affirms the union.

You can read in this special from elDiario.es/Euskadi all the coverage about the Osakidetza OPE