The former general secretary of the PP María Dolores de Cospedal assured this Tuesday in the National Court that she does not remember who paid the fees of the lawyers who defended the former treasurer of the party, Luis Bárcenas, when the Gürtel case broke out. The statement contradicts another made by Cospedal herself on February 1, 2010, when at a press conference she confirmed El País’s information that the PP was paying for the defense of the guardian of all the secrets of its financing. Then, the number two of the party justified it by saying that he had been a training worker for 30 years. “There is no other justification,” she added.

This Tuesday, Cospedal appeared as a witness in a piece of the Villarejo case, number 36, which investigates alleged maneuvers to discredit another subsequent lawyer of Bárcenas, the lawyer Javier Gómez de Liaño. In some recordings, three lawyers appear talking about a “judicial lobby” dedicated to benefiting the PP that would be behind the attempt to attribute crimes to Gómez de Liaño. In one of the interrogations in this piece, the prosecutor pointed out who could be in charge of that “lobby”, a State lawyer on leave named Alejandro Lorenzo Auset Domper. Cospedal declared today that he does not know him, according to sources present in the statement.

María Dolores de Cospedal said today during her statement: “What is this about a judicial lobby?” The former number two of the PP, as she already did in her statement as a defendant in Kitchen, hid this Tuesday by not remembering aspects that were asked of her or that she was directly unaware of them, despite having said the opposite in public, as is the case of the minutes of the prestigious lawyers Miguel Bajo (now deceased) and Alfonso Trallero. El País published that the PP paid 265,000 euros between 2009 and 2011 to a company in Bajo while Bárcenas confirmed that this defense was paid by the party.

When the Gürtel corruption case broke out, the former treasurer and the PP went hand in hand despite the fact that the party came to appear as a popular accusation in the Gürtel and Bárcenas case, investigated. Until Judge Pablo Ruz expelled the party for acting more as a defense attorney for its former treasurer than as an accusation. Over time, Ruz would sentence Bárcenas to prison – June 2013 – and the treasurer would confess to the irregular financing of the PP.

The lawyer for the popular accusation of Adade, Gloria Pascual, asked Cospedal this Tuesday “who was paying for Bárcenas’ defense.” She replied: “I imagine…”. It was then that Judge Manuel García Castellón intervened and stated: “Don’t imagine.” Cospedal continued: “I don’t remember.”

Back to piece 36, the reason for Cospedal’s statement this Tuesday, its origin is in Marbella. A court searched the house of a Serb linked to the Russian mafia last year and there found a recording in which three individuals talk about a plan to obtain compromising information from lawyer Javier Gómez de Liaño. They accused Bárcenas’ lawyer of leaking to El Mundo the information that was bleeding the PP dry. The objective was to neutralize Gómez de Liaño. They wanted to accuse him of collecting 5.5 million euros in black money from one of his clients, the gangster Zakhtar Kalashov.

The investigating court number 2 of Marbella sent the audio to the National Court. The three participants in the meeting are José Luis Moreno Cela, Mónica Gil Manzano and Juan Ramón Díaz Moro. Lawyer Moreno Cela claims to work for “a lobby that is behind the Popular Party, which is the one that exerts force, the one that asks for favors.” For his part, Juan Ramón Díaz Moro would represent Kalashov and Mónica Gil Manzano would have introduced them and acted as an intermediary.

Moreno Cela proposes to Díaz Moro that Kalashov provide information about payments from the Georgian ‘capo’ to Gómez de Liaño, who was his lawyer. In exchange, the aforementioned “lobby”, managed by the PP, would accelerate the release of the gangster. During the recording, José Luis Moreno Cela elaborates: “Who is handling the issue, well, the right hand, a State lawyer who is a friend of Cospedal, who is the lawyer she appointed to run, let’s say, the entire lobby, the entire comic, okay?” And he adds: “It is a lobby, to call it elegantly.”

Cospedal said today in court in the Villarejo case that he does not know any of these individuals. Yesterday, Monday, however, Villarejo also testified as a witness and assured that he met “14 or 15” times with Cospedal in Genoa and that, of the many topics he reported to him, there was that of Kalashov. She, however, assures that she only met with Villarejo because “there were many people wanting to harm the PP” and she wanted to be informed. In the same sense she denied that she ever spoke to the police officer about Gómez de Liaño. Judge Manuel García Castellón did not ask the witness any questions.


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