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Judge Abascal will be in charge of monitoring the European investigation of the ‘Ayuso case’

The judge of the National High Court Alexander Abascal will be in charge of ensuring that the fundamental rights of any person linked to the so-called ‘Ayuso case’ are not affected by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office investigation. According to legal sources reported to La Información, due to the distribution shift implemented in said judicial body, the magistrate of the Central Court of Instruction number 1 will be the one who acts as guarantee judgea necessary figure in the models in which prosecutors direct investigations of criminal cases.

As has been known in recent days, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened its own investigation about the alleged irregularities in the contract awarded by the Community of Madrid in April 2020 for theacquisition of 250,000 FPP2 and FPP3 masksin which the brother of the regional president mediated, Isabel Diaz Ayusosuspecting that said tender was financed “apparently” with money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). An investigation that has generated a certain debate in the fiscal environment, which has concluded with the determination of the State Attorney General, Dolores Delgadothat the competence to investigate this matter belongs to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Officeas it is a matter that affects “directly and essentially national interests”.

However, the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office cannot prevent the European from investigating whether in said public contract, which was awarded to Priviet Sportive SLa company managed by a friend of the Díaz Ayuso family, by the amount of 1.5 million euros, European funds were used, since this is the one that has the competence to defend the financial interests of the European Union. And it is for this reason that, after resolving a conflict of jurisdiction raised by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office maintains part of the investigations.

Functions of the judge guarantees

In this sense, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, without waiting for the discussion to be resolved, since its competence to investigate crimes that harm the Union’s finances is untouchable, communicated to the National High Court the initiation of a procedure in order to appoint a judge of guarantees. It is a figure that in Spain it does not yet exist until the approval reform of the Law of Criminal Procedure (LECrim) that the Government keeps frozen, with which the investigating judges will transfer their functions to the prosecutors.

However, article 8 of the Organic Law approved on July 1, 2021 to apply the European Regulation for the creation of its own Prosecutor’s Office does contemplate the functions of the guarantee judge who is attributed the Authorization of investigative procedures restrictive of fundamental rights; agree precautionary measures personal; secure test source person at the risk of it; oaauthorize the secrecy of the investigation and its extension. Likewise, the judge of guarantees will have the capacity to agree on the opening of the oral trial or dismissal of an investigation; solve the Challenges against the prosecutor’s decrees European delegate; or take measures to protection of witnesses and experts proceed at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office.

As explained by the sources consulted, Judge Abascal must now issue a resolution, which he has postponed until the conflict of powers is resolved, in which notify that you have become aware of the procedure initiated by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This will not imply in any way the opening of a legal case, since the investigation will be carried out by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, since in accordance with said rule, its paper will be merely testimonialsince he will not be in charge of the progress of the proceedings, the same sources insist.

More European causes in the Court

Judge Abascal arrived at the Central Court of Instruction number 1 in June 2021, after previously passing as reinforcement of the Central Court of Instruction number 6responsible for well-known macro-causes such as ‘Tandem‘, ‘punic‘ or ‘Lezo‘. With the change of office, the magistrate took charge of other complex cases such as the case ‘Soule‘, on the alleged irregularities in the hiring of the Real spanish soccer federation (RFEF) during the presidency of Angel Maria Villar; the tracking of the funds received by the former ambassador of Spain in Venezuela Raul Morodo and his family environment of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA; or the cause on the alleged cryptocurrency investment pyramid scheme broker led Javier Biosca.

The sources consulted point out that the truth is that the mask contract linked to Tomas Diaz Ayusobrother of the Madrid president, It is not the first case that the European Public Prosecutor has already analyzed and has informed the National High Court to ‘monitor’ that the procedure does not violate any right. There would be up to a dozen causes, although this is the most mediatic of all, as indicated. Article 7 of the aforementioned organic law highlights that said judicial body will have to constitute a judge of guarantees, since “it will be competent for the knowledge and decision of the procedures foreseen” in the norm; while in the case of appraised they will be the supreme court or high Court of Justice.

The non-judicial investigation

It should be noted that the proceedings carried out by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, aimed at clarifying whether any crime of influence peddling, false documents, prevarication or negotiations prohibited to officials, are not prosecuted, but are in a pre-trial phase. The head of this Prosecutor’s Office, Alexander Luzonopened an investigation on February 23 by accepting the complaints presented by the PSOE, United We Can and More Madrid with the aim of “confirm or rule out criminal significance” of the facts exposed by the parties of the Assembly of Madrid in their writings.

Also in its decree, Luzon explained that the “relevance of the correct and normal functioning of the Public Administration” is one of the main reasons why investigations begin. And this is precisely the argument that Anticorruption has maintained to defend its competence and reject the request of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which claimed the entire case. A criterion that has been endorsed this Monday by the state attorney general. Likewise, the head of this specialized Prosecutor’s Office pointed to the need to analyze the “indisputable social significance of the context” in which the award took place, since it was “necessary and urgent purchase of masks in a singularly difficult moment for the population of Madrid“, in full confinement by covid-19.