Thursday, January 27

The judge investigates a credit from the Consell Esportiu de L’Hospitalet while waiting for Núria Marín’s mobile

The case of the Consell Esportiu de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) is reactivated. The judge has again summoned the main parties involved in the case in relation to a suspected loan that the entity requested. But the case is awaiting the police analysis of the mobile of the mayor of L’Hospitalet and president of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Núria Marín, the key element in determining the degree of involvement of socialist politics in the reported irregularities.

It is not always the case that a politician voluntarily surrenders his phone to the Police. But this was the case a year ago, when Marín went to the La Verneda National Police station in Barcelona. She had not yet been cited as a defendant by the judge in the case. Two weeks later the magistrate agreed to the summons of Marín and authorized the dump of his mobile phone.

Sources in the case confirm that the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police, commissioned as the judicial police in the case, has not yet sent the report on Marín’s telephone number. The judge believes that Marín “would have helped” the investigated – a good part of them councilors and positions linked to the PSC of L’Hospitalet – to “avoid” the discovery of the appropriation of funds and the falsification of documents in the Consell through “a omisive and passive conduct “when the socialist mayor Jaume Graells transferred the irregularities in the Consell to him.

The messages and the content of Marín’s mobile should serve to confirm if, indeed, the mayor contributed to cover up the case or if, as the socialist leader maintains, after hearing Graells’ complaint, she commissioned an internal audit.

Marín’s role in the plot is the most politically relevant piece of an investigation that is being followed for the crimes of embezzlement, prevarication and influence peddling. The diversion of public subsidies from the Consell Esportiu is investigated, a private entity dedicated to the promotion of school sports but also nourished by public subsidies, whose directive committee is made up of six people designated by the consistory and another six chosen by the schools and sports clubs in the city.

While the report on Marín’s phone does not arrive, the judge who is handling the case has focused the investigations on a credit line of 25,000 euros and a guarantee of 3,680 that supposedly were requested without going through the assembly of the Consell, contrary to what that mark the statutes of the entity, and falsifying an act.

In the first search at the offices of the Consell, in June 2020, the agents found suspicious documentation on a line of credit and an endorsement for arbitration services in a school sports championship organized by the Cornellà City Council (Barcelona) in the year 2018. This led to the second arrest of the former president of the Consell, Eduard Galí, last February. The deputy mayor and first secretary of the PSC de l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Cristian Alcázar, appears in the guarantee policy and in the credit before a bank as representative of the Consell.

Alcázar and Galí will return to declare as investigated on the line of credit next December 20. On the same date, Cristóbal Plaza, the socialist councilor of L’Hospitalet, who resigned after being investigated for allegedly collecting compensation of 47,147 euros for dismissal from the Consell Esportiu when in reality his departure was already agreed upon previously. All of them have already declared for the irregular expenses detected in the Consell.

Ten days before the main investigators of the case return to the court, five former members of different commissions of the Consell will declare, as investigated, also in relation to the credit policy. In parallel, the judge has required dozens of agreements, minutes and documentation from the Consell on the grants awarded to the entity. The Consell Esportiu case is far from closed.