Wednesday, January 19

The Provincial Court sets for April the trial of Sánchez Mato and Celia Mayer for the ‘Tennis Open case’

Section number 7 of the Provincial Court of Madrid has set a date for the trial against Carlos Sánchez Mato, former delegate of the Area of ​​Economy and Finance of the consistory during the first two years of Manuela Carmena as mayor, and against Celia Mayer, Councilor for Culture and Sports During that stage, accused among other former leaders of Madrid of an alleged crime of embezzlement in what is known as the ‘Open Tennis case’. The trial will begin on April 25 at 10:00 a.m., five years after the process began and more than a year after they were processed. Both Sánchez Mato and Mayer have been senior positions as advisers to the Ministry of Equality with Irene Montero since October 12.

Irene Montero remodels the Ministry of Equality and incorporates Celia Mayer and Carlos Sánchez Mato

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This is the case that investigates the external legal reports that both commissioned as senior officials of Madrid Destino and that sustained a complaint before the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office against the Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Consistory for the contracts he signed with Madrid Trophy Promotion (MTP ), in charge of organizing the Mutua Madrid Open, which was filed. The municipal officials, who filed the complaint as directors of Madrid Destino, asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate whether the agreement reached with MTP could have committed a crime of “administrative prevarication and embezzlement of public funds.” But the Public Ministry rejected the complaint.

The case that will now go to trial was opened in mid-2017 as a result of the complaints made by the municipal group of the PP in the City Council and the Transparency and Justice association, linked to ex-commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, who accused the two councilors, in addition of the former CEO of Madrid Destino Ana Varela, of “prevarication” and “embezzlement of public funds” in the commission of two external reports to denounce the aforementioned alleged criminal irregularities in the agreement signed by the Madrid City Council at the time of Gallardón.

The refusal to make a report on the part of the municipal Legal Department caused the directors of the municipal company – Sánchez Mato, Celia Mayer and Ana Varela, another of the defendants – to ask the law firm Alemany, Escalona and Fuentes for an audit of the Open agreement of Tennis through the request of two reports that cost 26,000 and 24,000 euros, for which they did not exceed 50,000 euros, a figure from which municipal regulations require a list of technical prescriptions.

The Prosecutor’s Office did not see a crime

The legal services of the Madrid City Council had shielded themselves in the legislation to avoid making reports and not going into the merits of issues such as “economic valuations” or “control of expenses and the efficiency of services” on the agreement signed in 2011 between the Madrid Destino municipal company and MTP for the organization of the Madrid Tennis Open.

The opening of the oral trial communicated to the parties last day 3 through an abbreviated procedure comes after the Prosecutor’s Office requested the dismissal of the case, considering that the facts for which the exediles of Carmena were accused “are not constitutive of crime of prevarication “, because the two contracts did not exceed 50,000 euros,” which allowed the direct assignment “of the request for the reports” to a specific firm “without the need for technical specifications. In the indictment signed by Judge Concepción Jerez, the magistrate did not attribute any crime to the accused.

Sources from Unidos Podemos, a political force that at the time was part of Now Madrid, the platform that brought Carmena to the Mayor’s Office and of which Sánchez Mato and Mayer were part, denounce that “after four years of instruction, harassment is reactivated judicial against people of the political space “. “Doing politics from this space translates into a new judicial accusation. The message is clear, doing politics from the space we represent has a price,” they point out.

Also, Sánchez Mato has assured in statements feeling “persecuted” by the PP and by the “sewers” of the State, alluding to Villarejo, “for denouncing his corruption.” “The complaint of the PP and the Association linked to Villarejo is not against us. It goes against what we are and we defend from a political space that has been the target of lawfare [la judicialización de la política] since it was perceived as a threat by those who plunder public administrations, “he says.

“If we had accepted what the right wing proposed and closed our eyes to their actions, we would not be judged for some ‘irregularities’ that the Prosecutor’s Office itself says are not at all constitutive of a crime. For my part, my conscience is absolutely clear for not transacting with the sewers “, ditch the former councilman.