The judge of the National Court Joaquín Gadea has issued this Thursday an order by which he rejects the request of one of the accusations to call to testify as a witness in the piece of the Villarejo case in which the work that the retired commissioner did for BBVA to the current president of this entity, Carlos Torres, is investigated. In his resolution, the magistrate considers, in line with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which opposed the summons, that the interrogation of the bank’s head is “neither useful nor necessary” for judicial investigations. The judge also emphasizes that there is also no indication in the case that Torres issued any “directive, instruction or order to hide documents that affected the procedure” and a future summons closes it almost definitively. In July of last year, the prosecution had submitted a document in which it charged against the current management of the financial institution, which it accused of lack of collaboration in the investigations.
However, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, current president of Caixabank, and the bank’s former director of communication, the journalist Javier Ayuso, who already testified in November 2019, will have to appear. Goirigolzarri’s statement is produced at the request of Anticorruption. The date to celebrate both has not yet been set.
In his resolution, Judge Gadea details that Torres’s statement had been requested by the prosecution representing businessman Luis del Rivero, one of those spied on by the police allegedly commissioned by the entity. Del Rivero wanted to know if Torres had received information from the communication director of BBVA, Pablo García Tobin, accused in the case, about the existence of a folder of computer documents hosted on Google Drive (file hosting service in a cloud) in the that the entity kept documents related to the case after the scandal broke in 2018. Specifically, I wanted to ask you if you were aware of the existence in said folder of an “explanatory document” prepared by the former head of bank security, Julio Corrochano, one of the main stakeholders in the investigation.
The magistrate understands, in line with what the prosecution defends, that in order to know if Torres had access to this data, it is not necessary to call him to testify, since there is no “indication to support” that the current president of the entity had access. to these computer files. The judge adds that, during the investigation, no evidence was found to support that Torres “issued any directive, instruction or order to hide documents that affected the procedure, so no link is detected, beyond his hierarchical position or in the entity, which justifies the call”. BBVA, which is charged in the case as a legal entity, had also opposed the summons of its president, considering that what was intended was to “create media noise.”
On the contrary, the magistrate does consider the Anticorruption request to summon Goirigolzarri as a witness necessary for the investigation. In its brief, the prosecution highlighted that, from the analysis of the internal documentation seized at the headquarters of Cenyt, the company used by Villarejo to carry out the espionage work, indications had been obtained that the current president of Caixabank had access, while he was CEO of BBVA, to some of the reports prepared by the retired commissioner. Specifically, two referred to the so-called Trampa Project, the operation concocted by Villarejo at the alleged request of the bank to hinder Sacyr’s attempt to acquire a significant stake in BBVA, something that the entity interpreted as an assault on its autonomy.
Villarejo followed up and listened to control the communications, among others, of Del Rivero, president of the construction company. As detailed in its brief by the Prosecutor’s Office, Goirigolzarri was able to have access, at different times, to two of those reports and that, “although it seemed to him that it could be criminal, he did not dare to comment on it with Francisco González”, then president of the financial entity and who is charged in the case. In his order, the judge also accepts the statement as a witness of the former director of Communication of BBVA Javier Ayuso, as requested by the private prosecution, in view of the alleged contradictions between what this former director declared in his previous appearance, in November 2019 , and the written testimony presented last October by the former head of security, Julio Corrochano.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
The investigation into the commissions from the financial entity to the commissioner —in which twenty people are charged, including Villarejo himself, Francisco González and BBVA as a legal entity— is carried out within one of the pieces opened by the judge in macro summary opened for the allegedly criminal activities of the police officer. The investigations have revealed, so far, a total of 18 commissions from BBVA to the commissioner for which he pocketed 10.3 million euros. The magistrate agreed last January to extend the investigation until July 29 to take the missing statements and carry out other pending procedures. This Thursday two directors of the entity have declared as defendants, in addition to a former worker of the Villarejo companies as a witness.