Posted: Tuesday June 01 2021 5:28 PM
The congressional commission charged with investigating the so-called “Operation Kitchen” interviewed Ignacio Cosidó, former director of the police, and Francisco Martínez, former secretary of state for security. Both were designated by Villarejo as responsible for initiating the espionage of Luis Bárcenas. Something the two have categorically denied in their respective appearances. Specifically, the two claimed not to be aware of anything related to the alleged para-police operation to spy on the former treasurer of the People’s Party.
Thus passed the eleventh day of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the alleged operation hatched by the Ministry of the Interior in 2013 on reserved funds. Cosidó, police chief between 2012 and 2016, was the first to appear: “I have never shipped with Villarejo, I have never eaten with him, I have never spoken on the phone with him, I have never have never exchanged any type of message. with him and I never sent him instructions through third parties.
According to his version, he was not informed of the judicial inquiries and he had no trace of “any operation in which Mr. Villarejo was involved”. In fact, he said he saw him only once, when he had just arrived at the police headquarters, when he had a “chance meeting” and Villarejo introduced himself to him. . The former director has also distanced himself from any parallel structure in the body: “The only structure that exists, or at least that I have known in the Police, is the one that rules the law,” he said. he clarified, adding that he felt “bridged”.
On a related note, the one who was Secretary of State for Security between 2013 and 2016 and accused in the case since January 2020, Francisco Martínez, has denied that, as Villarejo said, he was at the running from Kitchen and had received a USB key with the contents of Bárcenas’ mobile. “I firmly and without reservation deny that in the performance of my duties (…) I participated in or had knowledge, direct or indirect, of any form of illegal use of the personnel, means and resources of the ministry of the Interior for the in order to promote the political interests of the PP, to illegally persecute people or to annul evidence against this party in corruption cases, ”he began by saying.
Martínez recognizes a “strictly professional and police” relationship with Villarejo
Bárcenas, as he clearly said, never saw him “never” and with Villarejo he had an “absolutely and strictly professional and police relationship”, although he admitted to having eaten once in Estepona (Malaga) with the ex-commissioner and his wife invited by him during his summer vacation. “I think it was in 2012,” he added. Martínez also focused on the mobile messages that appear in a police report of conversations with other defendants, such as the former deputy director of operations Eugenio Pino or the former commissioner Enrique García Castaño, known in the field. policeman under the name of El Gordo.
In one of them, Martínez replies “all dead” to García Castaño, supposedly to tell him that if he was talking about Kitchen, the former Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz and the former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would also end up being investigated. In front of the deputies, he deplored the biased leak of this police report, explained that these messages are incomplete and decontextualized, and declared that he did not know why these officials indicate him as participating in the espionage.
From Cospedal to “Operation Catalonia”
He also referred to the message he sent in 2019 to the president of the National Tribunal, José Ramón Navarro, in which he declared that his “mistake” was to have been faithful to “wretches” such as Fernández Díaz, Rajoy or Cospedal. He wrote it, he said, because of “a sense of tremendous anxiety, frustration and anger”, in a context of “absolute intimacy” within his relationship with the magistrate and at a time when it “was broken”. “In the context of politics, you sometimes feel bad with those who have been your superiors,” he said, and admitted that when he left politics that year he found himself with a feeling “quite bitter” and that he felt “probably” “abandoned by the minister.”
Regarding the former secretary general of PP María Dolores de Cospedal, indicated by Villarejo as one of the people who had knowledge of the espionage, the former number two of the Interior affirmed that “never in life” he does not had met her. Likewise, Martínez denied the alleged operation in Catalonia against the sovereign process: “I never knew anything about any operation in Catalonia, nor there was any, nor any document that refers to it.” He admitted that he was authorized, along with two other people, to sign earmarked fund stubs, although he said no secretary of state had details of the use of these items.