Sergio Ríos Esgueva entered the National Police Academy in 2015 and graduated two years later. He arrived there, according to Anticorruption, as a reward for having spied on Luis Bárcenas, taking advantage of the fact that he was his driver and under the orders of the Ministry of the Interior to neutralize compromising evidence against the PP. Now the Justice has confirmed that Ríos will continue to be suspended from employment and salary in a precautionary manner until the judicial process against him ends for being part of the Kitchen espionage operation: public police means at the service of the interests of the Popular Party for which the Prosecutor’s Office He asks for eight years and five months in prison.
Anti-corruption requests 15 years in prison for Fernández Díaz and his number two for spying on Bárcenas
The General Director of the National Police signed in September 2021 the precautionary suspension of employment and salary of Sergio Ríos as a police officer. By then, since he obtained the plate in 2017, the former driver of Luis Bárcenas and Rosalía Iglesias had gone through the Ávila academy, the Immigration Unit and finally the Mobile Brigade dependent on Citizen Security.
He was suspended after the National Court prosecuted him for his role in the Kitchen operation. Ríos appealed and now, as elDiario.es has learned, it has been the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid that has confirmed the decision to leave him without a badge and without a salary until he is convicted or acquitted: the accusation against him “seriously discredits the image offered by the National Police and all its members to the society it serves” and, furthermore, it is “not very exemplary” for the rest of the police.
His arrival at the Police Academy was, according to the judge who investigated the case and according to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, a reward for spending more than two years spying on Luis Bárcenas and his family with one objective: to intercept evidence, documents and audiovisual materials related to the Gurtel case. Not to deliver it to the National Court and help investigate the plot, but to remove compromising information for the Popular Party from circulation.
The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requests a total of eight years, five months and 15 days in prison for him as the author of a crime against privacy and a necessary cooperator in another two of cover-up and embezzlement. Because, according to the investigators, he agreed to take part in the illegal espionage operation at the request of José Manuel Villarejo in 2013 but he did not do it in exchange for anything: he received 44,000 euros from the reserved funds, they gave him a weapons license to carry a pistol and he they bought a short weapon also charged to the public coffers.
What the Police define as a “little exemplary” action by Ríos, according to the accusations against him, was to put himself at the service of an operation supervised by the Minister of the Interior of the Executive of Mariano Rajoy, Jorge Fernández Díaz, to spy on the ex-treasurer and report promptly to police officers, taking advantage of the fact that the family had opened the doors of their privacy: he would go to the bank on his behalf, take papers to lawyers or even put away their mobile phones.
The police commanders attempted a first contact with Ríos through Andrés Gómez Gordo, a police officer trusted by María Dolores de Cospedal, but the one who succeeded in recruiting was José Manuel Villarejo, recently sentenced to 19 years in prison. From July 2013 to September 2015, according to Anti-Corruption, the driver informed “exhaustively and individually” to different members of Rajoy’s police leadership about all the movements of Bárcenas and his wife: calls, conversations, their state of mind, documents and bank movements.
The Superior Court of Madrid understands that this request for jail by the Prosecutor’s Office is an argument of greater weight than his prosecution to keep him without a badge and without salary until there is a sentence. A trial that, for the moment, does not have a date on the calendar of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court.
The case has been settled with the magnifying glass on the family driver and the police and Interior leadership that hired him, but without bringing to trial those responsible for the Popular Party who could have intervened in a commission that sought to benefit, exclusively , to that party: neither María Dolores de Cospedal, the then general secretary, nor Mariano Rajoy, then president of the Government, will be in the dock of the accused.
Yes, Jorge Fernández Díaz will be there, then Minister of the Interior for whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for 15 years in prison, the same one that he requests and also the then Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Martínez. The highest prison request from the Public Ministry is for Villarejo, 19 years in prison, adding that of bribery.
Sergio Ríos had been in the National Police for four years, supposedly a “reward” for spying on Bárcenas and Iglesias, when he was prosecuted and suspended from employment and salary, but others involved, also sanctioned, had been in the force for many more years and in much higher positions. . Among others, Commissioner Andrés Gómez Gordo and Chief Inspector José Ángel Fuentes Gago were suspended.
Sergio Ríos received funds reserved from the State for his espionage work, in addition to obtaining the weapons license and the pistol irregularly. A total of 44,000 euros, at a rate of 2,000 euros per month. Regarding his entry into the Police Academy and overcoming the previous opposition, the Prosecutor’s Office expresses doubts: it was Villarejo’s idea so as not to indefinitely prolong the payments of money from the reserved funds.
Facilitating their entry into the Police, according to Anticorruption, was a prize but also a shield for them. It was done “as a protection mechanism that would guarantee impunity for all those accused.” It was done although he acknowledges that he does not know how: “It is not clear how effectively the defendants, or third parties, could interfere in the access procedure, facilitating the defendant Sergio Ríos Esgueva the one approved in 2015 in the free opposition.”
From that moment, Sergio Ríos began to receive a salary from the Police who, without success, has asked the Justice to be returned to him after his precautionary withdrawal. Now the man who constitutes one of the key pieces of spying on Luis Bárcenas for the benefit of the PP will have to appeal, if he wants, before the Supreme Court.