On the last Friday of January, the president of the Real Madrid and the group ACS, Florentino Pérez, ate at a renowned Madrid restaurant, near the Santiago Bernabéu, with Dolores Delgado; the former judge Baltasar Garzón, current partner of the State Attorney General and head of the office Ilocad; and the journalist Antonio Garcia Ferreras, former head of communication for Florentino’s Real Madrid.
For the defense of the former Chief of Security of Iberdrola, Antonio Asenjo, investigated in one of the pieces of the Villarejo case – the one that affects the energy group for allegedly hiring the services of the former commissioner to carry out irregular espionage work – that encounter, which this newspaper reported exclusively, reduces the impartiality of the judicial process.
Florentino Pérez is private prosecution in said investigation, for being one of the persons allegedly affected by the work of Jose Manuel Villarejo.
The City Councils of Madrid and Barcelona limit the price of gifts that officials can receive to 50 euros
Asenjo’s lawyers have requested the judge Manuel Garcia Castellon, in charge of the investigation in the National audience, that Pérez’s status as a private prosecutor be withdrawn, due to the suspicions of a lack of independence that that meal with the chief prosecutor casts on the procedure.
Is it corruption that the State Attorney General is invited by a person who is part of a judicial procedure? Where are the limits of what is correct when it comes to assessing the public performance of a high position in the Administration? Can a public official accept gifts? Of what amount?
The glamorous ‘entertain’
“We are not saying that any public official, including the State Attorney General, should refrain from maintaining friendly relations by sharing meals in which, said friends, run with the account sometimes, and those on other occasions,” they point out in their letter sent this week to judge García Castellón the lawyers of Antonio Asenjo.
Public employees must refrain from matters that may pose conflicts of interest
“But of course,” they continue, “if the State Attorney General maintains those friendly relations with the person who presides over companies that are being investigated in criminal courts or with the person who shares a bench on the accusing side, she will necessarily have to refrain from carrying out shameful, shameless and obscene displays of friendship as long as the criminal responsibility of ‘your friend’ is sub index”.
“The glamorous one interview of which the journalistic media inform us transcends not only what is politically correct, but also the limits of appearances of impartiality, injuring her to death ”, they affirm.
The Law of the Basic Statute of Public Employees, in its article 53, Ethical Principles, says in point five: “They will abstain in those matters in which they have a personal interest, as well as any private activity or interest that may pose a risk of raising conflicts of interest with his public position ”.
And in point eleven: “They will exercise their attributions according to the principle of dedication to public service, refraining not only from conduct contrary to it, but also also of any others that compromise neutrality in the exercise of public services ”.
Gifts and invitations
The defense of the former Iberdrola director assumes that this meal, a seafood platter, was paid for by Florentino Pérez. For the prices of the restaurant in question, the cutlery costs between 25 and 245 euros.
Asenjo’s defense maintains that there will be a well-founded suspicion of partiality regarding the actions of the prosecutors in the different cases in which Florentino Pérez intervenes.
The same Law of the Basic Statute of Public Employees, in article 54, Principles of conduct, says in point six: “Any gift, favor or service under advantageous conditions will be rejected that goes beyond the usual, social and courtesy uses, without prejudice to the provisions of the Penal Code “.
But what gift goes beyond the usual, social and courtesy uses? Is it an invitation to a meal?
“The limit of what is correct is not written anywhere; It depends on jurisprudence and has to do with ‘socially admissible’ uses, explains Asenjo’s defense in his writing to the judge. And they refer to the current regulations in this regard in the Madrid and Barcelona City Councils.
In Madrid, gifts to officials may not exceed the amount of 50 euros; In the case of meals, jointly by the cover of the official and who is within his intimate circle such as a sentimental partner, the limit of the value of the gifts that can be accepted during the period of one year from the same natural or legal person.
Eleven years ago Delgado attended another meal with Garzón and Villarejo in which he was recorded
In Barcelona, gifts or presents that, individually or in groups, are considered to exceed habitual, social or courtesy uses. are more than 50 eurosAgain, in the case of meals, jointly by the staff member and whoever is within their inner circle.
“As long as Mrs. Dña. Dolores Delgado remains in her position as Attorney General of the State”, affirms the defense of Antonio Asenjo, “there will be a well-founded suspicion of bias regarding the actions of his subordinates in the different causes in which Mr. Florentino Pérez intervenes ”.
Another controversial meal
Eleven years after a meal whose bill was very expensive, the state attorney general, Dolores Delgado, is at the center of another controversy with gastronomic origin in which some of the same diners are mentioned again.
In October 2009, Delgado attended another meal, reported ten years later, to celebrate the awarding of a medal to José María Villarejo. The former commissioner, in prison since November 2017, recorded that meeting, which was also attended by Baltasar Garzón and other police officers.
The publication of the recordings of that meal – in which Delgado was heard referring to the then judge of the National Court and today Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska as “fag” – were used by the political opposition to Pedro Sanchez, and also by its partners in the Government of United we can, to demand the dismissal of Dolores Delgado as Minister of Justice.
“Villarejo has a recording that only he has recorded, which is cut and pasted as desired and published in an ad hoc digital newspaper with intimate relationships with him,” Delgado said in his defense.
In January 2020, the Government of Pedro Sánchez, despite everything, appointed Dolores Delgado at the head of the State Attorney General’s Office. Now another meal puts her back in a more than awkward position.
Source: Vozpópuli by www.vozpopuli.com.
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