The Prosecutor’s Office has requested that the case regarding the transfer of elderly people from residences in Barcelona during the first state of alarm due to the coronavirus be archived. The Public Ministry concludes that medical assistance was provided and the “assumptions” that it reflected in a report, in which it pointed out “without objective elements” the possibility that the elderly were infected during their transfer to the hospital because they had been mixed patients with symptoms with others who did not present them.
The case about the transfers in the residences is instructed by the Court of Instruction 1 of Barcelona and derives from a report of the Civil Guard as a result of the eavesdropping on former ERC minister Xavier Vendrell in the Volhov case. Most of the family members channeled their complaints through the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has also filed most of the investigations.
The Armed Institute warned about the possible existence of crimes in the transfer of several patients from a residence in Barcelona to different hospitals, on April 2 and 4, 2020, of which five would end up dying of coronavirus. The judge opened a case for embezzlement and reckless homicide.
The agents collected by court order information about the elderly who were transferred either from the center or to a hospital, the isolation measures, the number of infected and deceased by coronavirus in the nursing homes, as well as the PCR tests they performed.
The Civil Guard maintained in a report sent to the judge that in the transfer patients without symptoms of COVID-19 were mixed with elderly people who did present symptoms and that as a result of this contagion could occur, as a result of which some died in the following days. But for the Prosecutor’s Office the report is based on “assumptions.”
The prosecutor does not appreciate “objective elements that prove” the thesis of the mixture of healthy and symptomatic elderly because the patients had not previously undergone any test to determine if they had coronavirus. “Therefore, it is plausible that they already had it before the transfer or that they were infected in the clinics to which they were transferred, or as indicated in the statement in the transfer itself,” emphasizes the Prosecutor’s Office in a report, advanced by El Periódico de Catalunya.
For the prosecutor, the elderly were provided as much “possible” medical assistance in a “very exceptional” situation. Nor are there “sufficient elements”, adds the prosecutor to continue with the case, in which, among other aspects, it is being investigated whether Xavier Vendrell was irregularly hired by the residence’s employer to manage alternative centers.
The Prosecutor’s Office concludes that it has not been possible to determine for criminal purposes a direct causal relationship between the deaths and the transfer of the elderly, which took place in a situation that those days “was very exceptional, given the level of saturation of the medical centers in Barcelona “.
By not appreciating the crime of reckless homicide, the Prosecutor’s Office believes that it cannot be attributed to the president of the Catalan Association of Assistance Resources (ACRA), Cinta Pascual, a crime of concealment for the alleged negligence or recklessness in the transfer.