The official investigated in the case of finger contracts of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (ILC) has culminated his change in defense strategy with a last dart against the main defendant, the current president of the Parliament, Laura Borràs. The public employee has asked the judge this Wednesday to file the case, arguing that he never participated in the award of two contracts to Borràs’s friend, Isaías H., so there is no question of “criminal collusion” with the two defendants .
Borràs showed his “surprise” to the intervener who questioned his finger contracts: “We came to explain them to you”
In his brief, the defense of the official, which is exercised by the lawyer Juan Carlos Zayas, contextualizes the audios that Borràs sent to the judge and that elDiario.es revealed last week. The first of them, on December 19, 2017, in which Borràs “urgently” asks for all the ILC contracts with his friend, occurred only one day after the arrest of Isaías H. by the Mossos d Squad in the same cause.
“The request is from a day after the police detention of Isaías H., which must have motivated Mrs. Borràs’s request for information,” says the defense, which emphasizes that on that date Borràs was still the director of the ILC, so he labels the request “not at all out of the ordinary.” “The request was made by a superior of his,” insists the defense of Roger E., who argues that the voice message “cannot constitute incriminating evidence against him” because it was a “current and innocuous request that does not allow establishing a criminal connivance” with Borràs and Isaías H.
The letter also recounts a visit by Borrà to the ILC at the beginning of 2018, when the leader of Junts was no longer directing the cultural entity and the “strange offer” made by the already deputy. According to the official, Borràs presented the ILC employees with “some people who were going to take on the maintenance tasks of the website” that until then had been carried out by Isaías H. “without there being any evidence of a formal contract.” To this proposal from Borràs, the official responded by “expressing his reservation and disagreement with the unusual proposal”, which in the opinion of the defense shows “quite the contrary to some degree of conformity or agreement with the designs” of the leader of Junts.
In addition to all the material provided against Borràs, the official’s defense maintains that his behavior in the ILC case cannot be criminal. The reason: that the official was not in charge of hiring the ILC, so “he was not in a position of guarantor and control regarding the timeliness and legal suitability of the contracts decided and awarded by Mrs. Borràs.” Roger E., defends his lawyer, had “neither the knowledge nor the function of legally advising or controlling the hiring files.”
The revelations of the civil servant Roger EP to try to get rid of the cause of the ILC’s finger contracts are missiles against Borràs’ line of defense. First, the official provided three audios in which she asked him to notify her if the Mossos went to the ILC headquarters. She was also interested, when she was no longer directing the public entity, for an unpaid invoice to his friend Isaías H.
Roger EP has not stayed on the recordings and has delivered to the judge three reports from the Intervention of the Generalitat on the finger contracts in the ILC in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the allegations of Borràs to the first of them and three chains of emails between the then director and various officials about the reports.
The intervenor reminded Borràs that finger contracts “cannot be divided” with the aim of reducing their amount and not exceeding the limit of 18,000 euros that requires a public tender. And she recommended a “greater planning” of the contracting of the different services of the ILC to carry out “aggregate contracting” in view of the risk of not complying with the regulations on the division of contracts.
The intervener’s conclusions were based on the fact that Isaías H. and a cooperative, Xarxa Integral, had received a total of 63,000 euros in the form of five hand-picked contracts in 2013. This represented 34% of the amount of the minor contracting of the ILC that year and 21% of the files. Such magnitude “exceeds the maximum amount of minor contracting”, the intervener warned in June 2014.
Borràs received the intervener’s recommendations with displeasure. Only one hour after having the provisional report of the Intervention, the leader of Junts replied to the officials by email. “I receive this report with the surprise of seeing that the contracts that we came to explain to you and that we needed to carry out for the digital implementation of this new stage of the ILC are subject to control,” said Borràs.
The judicial and Mossos d’Esquadra investigation maintains that the Xarxa Integral cooperative was only a cover so that the money would also end up in the accounts of Isaías H. Borràs’s friend presented the ILC with budgets attributed to other people or to cooperatives linked to him, so that in all cases he was awarded the project, according to the mechanics of fraud described by the judge. In total, the 18 suspect contracts amount to 330,442.65 euros.