The Barcelona Court has filed a case for diversion of funds from the Catalan Association of Municipalities (ACM), due to “successive violations” of rights by the judge, who “resigned” to control the investigation, and the Prosecutor’s Office, for acting “behind the backs” of the suspects. In an order, the seventh section of the Barcelona Court estimates the appeals presented by the defenses and files the complaint that the Prosecutor’s Office presented for alleged diversion of funds from the ACM, an investigation that led the National Police to register the entity’s headquarters municipalista in October 2019.
The investigation began as a result of an anonymous letter received by the Mossos d’Esquadra -which took him to the Prosecutor’s Office and requested access to fiscal information from the ACM- and by a report from the National Police on the role of the entity in financing the you process. The Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office agreed to open proceedings in January 2018 to investigate the alleged deviation and, two months later, issued a decree in which it pointed out indications of crimes of embezzlement and money laundering and agreed to request information from Social Security and the Treasury on several related persons to the ACM, including its former president Miquel Buch, who shortly after would be appointed Minister of the Interior.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office, which also agreed to give the National Police access to the File of Financial Holders to obtain information on the suspects, concluded its investigation in March 2019, “without at any time being informed of its existence to any of the persons investigated nor will a statement be taken from them, “the order added.
In March 2019, the Prosecutor’s Office filed a complaint for the diversion of funds from the ACM, which was admitted for processing by the investigating court number 16 of Barcelona, headed by magistrate Jaime Conejo, although, according to the Hearing, “the entire The information collected “had been obtained” in violation of the fundamental rights “of defense, contradiction and privacy, which leads” unavoidably “to agree on the filing of the case.
The car, which advances the newspaper ‘The country’, argues that the proceedings carried out by the prosecutor Marta Marquina “violated essential principles expressly included in the Statute of the Public Prosecutor’s Office”, in addition to accessing information “protected by the fundamental right to privacy” without practically issuing any resolution “in which it justified the need to obtain it. ”
“If the Public Prosecutor’s Office considered that there were still no indications of the commission of the aforementioned crimes, or that their contours remained so diffuse that they did not allow any of them to be incriminated, it does not seem reasonable to request, with the detail with which it did, the information to the Public Treasury and to the rest of public organisms “, adds the court.
In addition, the court warns, those investigated “could not provide relevant information to said procedure that – predictably – would have substantially altered the assessment of the reports prepared by the National Police.” “Certainly, it causes perplexity that the complaint confuses the Fundació Carles Pi i Sunyer d’Estudis Autonómics i Locals (…) with an Association (apparently non-existent) called Carles Vives Pi i Sunyer (in reality it must refer to Carles Viver Pi- Sunyer) “, underlines the Audience by way of example.
The court recalls that part of the facts reported by the Prosecutor’s Office in its complaint – the payment by the ACM of a trip of mayors to Brussels in November 2017 – had been previously investigated by the public prosecutor, which agreed to the file by not appreciate evidence of crime. Consequently, the judges consider that the material provided by the Prosecutor’s Office “was clearly inappropriate” to support their complaint, since their investigation was carried out “with their backs to the people who from the outset were clearly identified as suspects.”
“It is obvious, therefore, that said infringement, by preventing those investigated today from participating in defense of their interests, clearly conditioned the result of the investigation carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and, as a consequence of what has been called Procedural metastasis also directly affected the order issued by the Magistrate of the Investigating Court admitting the complaint to be processed, “adds the court.
In fact, the court also censures the investigating judge, who believes should not have admitted the complaint of the Prosecutor’s Office, and reproaches him for not specifying what criminal evidence motivated these proceedings. In the court’s opinion, the judge also violated the law by not setting the “terms and scope of the registration or the extent of the interference measure” or establishing “any limitation” on the examination of the seized material, “which suggests that it was clearly a prospective investigation. ”
“Actually, from the examination of said resolution, it seems to be deduced that the Magistrate renounced to exercise some type of control over the investigation that the National Police was carrying out, clearly departing from the model established by the jurisprudence of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court” , added the magistrates, who believe “obvious” that the judge “violated the fundamental right to privacy of people.” In a statement, the ACM has “celebrated” the decision of the Provincial Court, with the “conviction that serious, honest and continuous work at the service of local entities” endorses the municipal entity.