Publication: Thursday, May 6, 2021 7:19 PM
A judge is investigating the ex-minister Raül Romeva, the ex-secretary of the Diplocat Albert Royo and the secretary of the Government, Victor Culell, as well as seven other posts of the Generalitat, for embezzlement of nearly one million euros to “internationalize” the process through finger-pointing and arbitrary contracts. The investigation stems from a complaint lodged by the public prosecutor before the courts of Barcelona following a 2019 report from the Court of Auditors, for offenses of fraud, embezzlement and falsification of an official document, and focuses on eleven contracts and grants awarded between 2012 and 2017 for a value of 972,228 euros, according to the Ara newspaper.
In a car to which Efe had access, the head of the investigating court number 18 of Barcelona cites as investigated the accusations of the government, accused of having embezzled funds from foreign and presidential departments to “internationalize the right to decide”, with “arbitrary” scholarships and academic contracts, going beyond the sphere of autonomous competence.
The magistrate also indicted Aleix Villatoro, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Action, Roger Albinyana, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat, Teresa Prohias, former Director of Services of the Presidency, Roser Clavell, former Secretary General of the Diplocat , Manel Vila, Director General of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, and Gérard Figueras, Secretary General of Sport and who chaired the Consell Català de l’Esport.
As argued by the judge in her car, dated May 3, the prosecution’s complaint has its origin in the report of the Court of Auditors which detected that the Generalitat had allocated public funds to activities that do not fall within its competence. and could “disrupt” the direction of Spanish foreign policy. The prosecution found alleged irregularities in the award of contracts and subsidies – awarded “on the finger” or cut to avoid public competitions – which, according to the judge, were not intended to “promote the image of the country, objective of foreign action., but to internationalize the process on the right to decide “.
Among the contracts studied are academic work on subjects which in principle do not fall within the competence of the Generalitat, some “aimed at carrying out studies for the creation of the structures of a new State once Catalonia accedes to the State. independence “, according to the judge. One of the grants the judge is investigating – for 40,000 euros – is that which the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva y Villatoro granted in 2016 to the Federation of Internationally Recognized Catalan Organizations (FOCIR), “without justifying it. the reasons”. no public competition.
The direct contractualization without competition in 2015 of two reports on multilateral treaties and the procedures of a new State to enter international organizations is also being studied, to the same person and in two installments of 17,500 euros.
And, that same year, the direct hiring by Víctor Cullell – former director general of the analysis of the presidency – of a report of 13,636 euros to the sociologist Salvador Cardús on the various instruments of international cooperation between Spain and Spain. Catalonia in the event of independence. Cardús also acted as an intermediary, according to the prosecution, in the direct attribution in 2015 to a Belgian company, the data of which is unknown, of a report on European defense policy which shows that 5,000 euros were paid. , a case that the judge sees “particularly remarkable” since it was not possible to prove who is the owner of the Belgian account to which the payment was transferred.
Roser Clavell was awarded by the public prosecutor’s office the granting of a direct grant to FOCIR in 2012 for an amount of 50,000 euros, without specifying the destination or checking this aid, which was not made public. Regarding Royo, who led Diplocat from 2014 to 2016, the judge is investigating him for grants of 100,000, 125,000 and 125,000 euros in which FOCIR was directly appointed as a collaborating entity, without competition, and an agreement that he signed in 2017 with the Sports secretary, Gérard Figueras, and the director of the Catalan Cooperation Agency (ACCD), Manel Vila, will grant a direct grant of 165,000 euros to this entity.
The secretary general of Diplocat also commissioned the Barcelona Institute for International Studies (IBEI) to conduct a study on the status that a region that became independent from a member state could have in the EU, which ended up being awarded to two European centers worth 196,920 euros. According to the prosecution, a split contract was also concluded to produce 20 videos, for 48,230 euros, to promote the right to decide at the gates of the 9N consultation, in which Diplocat covered 10,000 euros of the cost generated by the trip to Catalonia. . eight MEPs.
Another Royo hiring that the judge is investigating is that of a ‘coworking’ space in Brussels between May and November 2017, coinciding with the months when the 1-O was prepared and celebrated and the DUI was voted on in Parliament. , valued at 13,352 euros. The prosecution’s complaint is also directed against ex-minister Quico Homs, for having fragmented a service contract to move participants to a world meeting of Catalan communities, a reward for a project in a field of international dynamization and a direct subsidy to Catdem. to the CDC- for its membership of the European Liberal Forum. However, the judge considers that neither the report of the Court of Auditors nor the documentation analyzed “do not mention criminal evidence”, beyond “simple administrative irregularities”.