The Barcelona Court has agreed with Judge Joaquín Aguirre in his dispute with the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office for the investigation of an oil business allegedly linked to the Russian plot of the procés. The magistrates endorse continuing with the case open to the director of the office of the former president of Carles Puigdemont, Josep Lluís Alay, who in the opinion of the prosecutor Fernando Maldonado lacked “logical motivation.”
In an order, the 21st section of the Barcelona Court rejects the prosecutor’s appeal to file the separate piece that affected Alay and concludes that, contrary to what was claimed by Anti-Corruption, the operation should be investigated. Judge Aguirre’s decision to investigate the oil business “is not exactly without motivation” although the Prosecutor’s Office “does not share his reasons,” the magistrates ugly.
Judge Aguirre opened the separate piece from a Civil Guard report on Alay’s phone, arrested in October last year in the operation of the Voloh case, and the messages that he came across with the Russian businessman Aleksander Dmitrenko a few months earlier . Thus, another piece of the macrocause was opened that investigates the alleged corruption of the leaders in the shadow of the procés, the financing of Carles Puigdemont in Waterloo and a possible Russian influence in the sovereign process.
The messages referred to an oil purchase that a Chinese company made from a Russian company in which Dmitrenko allegedly participated and about which he spoke with Alay. The businessman congratulates “all of us” and celebrates having received a $ 295,000 guarantee for the operation as a “first big step done.”
Judge Aguirre considered that the operation could imitate the one carried out by Russia with a company linked to the Italian politician Matteo Salvini and that it offered indications of “being nothing more than a screen to hide some type of irregular operation”, such as “illegal financing of a political party “. The prosecutor, on the other hand, valued that the instructor went too far in his investigation hypothesis and therefore asked the Barcelona Court to archive the separate piece.
According to the prosecutor, deducing criminal conduct from the messages between Alay and Dmitrenko “exceeds the investigative powers that correspond to any authority.” The prosecutor also criticized the “lack of logical motivation for the investigation” and its “prospective nature.” “It is not indicated what are the possible crimes committed or the criminally relevant behaviors,” he added.
The Barcelona Court agrees with the investigating judge and supports him to investigate whether the Russian company that intervened in the oil business has subsidiaries in Europe, whether the money reached Spain and to what current account, in addition to finding out “if Dmitrenko has accounts in Spain and what is your way of life, residence, work and income and any other diligence that the judicial police [la Guardia Civil] consider convenient “.
They are, argue the magistrates, procedures that are not “unnecessary, useless or impertinent” when investigating possible crimes of embezzlement and influence peddling. “The investigation is not prospective as there are suspicions of those investigated in such crimes, in light of what was reported by the Judicial Police,” they add.
Contrary to what is maintained by Anticorrupción, the judges deny that there is “material defenselessness” in Alay for investigating his alleged link to the oil business. Nor do the magistrates believe, as the prosecutor maintained, that the judge did not indicate what criminal conduct he is investigating, since they also believe that the business is “suspicious for possibly constituting a screen for illegal financing.” Consequently, they find it necessary to know “the destination of the money obtained and if it arrived in Spain.”
“It cannot be ruled out – the magistrates add – the participation of people from the immediate surroundings of Puigdemont”. They are based on the fact that in his messages Alay commented that Dmitrenko’s work on the energy issue was “strategic” and that the businessman achieved last year that the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, then led by the now Junts deputy Joan Canadell, appoint him ambassador to Moscow. Dmitrenko, a Russian investor based in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona), denies being an agent of the Russian intelligence services, although the Government denied him Spanish nationality precisely because of the suspicion of his ties to the former KGB.