Villarejo’s audios weaken his defense in court: “We have obtained these data in that way…” | Spain | The USA Print


Retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, upon his arrival at the National High Court, in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid), in February.
Retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, upon his arrival at the National High Court, in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid), in February.Jesus Hellin (Europa Press)

The first major trial against retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, which has been held since October at the National Court, has entered a new phase with the reproduction of the audios that the policeman himself recorded for years —and which he tried unsuccessfully to annul at the beginning of the oral hearing. This Monday, the court has heard one of the meetings that the former police officer had in September 2013 with one of his clients: the managers of the Herrero & Asociados law firm, who allegedly commissioned him to spy on a rival office. The magistrates have heard how, during the conversation, the main defendant explained to his interlocutors that the reports that he would provide them would contain information obtained in an irregular way: “They are reports with data that we have obtained in that way… That it is not convenient to make available of justice”.

The reproduction of these recordings inflicts another heavy blow on Villarejo’s defense, for which the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requests a sentence of more than 100 years in prison. According to the public ministry, which considers these audios one of the key pieces of evidence in the case, the plot “illegally” obtained information from confidential databases and made it available to its clients, who paid the commissioner hundreds of thousands of euros. for her. In the case of Herrero & Asociados, the investigating judge calculated that he paid the police more than 300,000 euros.

Throughout the conversation heard this Monday, Villarejo details his clients modus operandi and even suggests to Herrero & Asociados the possibility of controlling its employees. The commissioner talks about monitoring the “conduct” of the workers for two or three days, and supervising their calls. Precisely, the Prosecutor’s Office maintains that the plot accessed the call traffic of the victims, and that it facilitated Balder’s tax model 347, the spied office. In this sense, the commissioner says during the talk to one of his interlocutors: “You know that this is more illegal than a potato. Take out the 347…”.

Mario Carpintero, one of the Herrero executives accused in this trial, admitted at the hearing that Villarejo provided them with confidential tax and banking information; and that he was offered call data. During his statement, Carpintero explained that he intuited that the commissioner paid other officials to obtain sensitive material.

Commissioner Garcia Castaño

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Judge Ángela Murillo, president of the court, has also urged this Monday the defense of Enrique García Castaño, another of the commissioners accused in the oral hearing, to attend Tuesday’s session without fail. “Possibly, we are going to suspend the trial for him”, the judge has advanced, referring to the policeman, who suffered a stroke at the beginning of this month of May. His lawyer had asked the National High Court to appoint a coroner to analyze his state of health and his possible inability to be held accountable. García Castaño, known under the alias of Fat and one of the most assiduous alleged collaborators of Villarejo, faces a request from the Prosecutor’s Office of more than 82 years in prison. “Everyone knew Villarejo,” said the police officer during his statement.

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