May 17, 2022 8:48 am

The Prosecutor’s Office supports investigating whether Podemos paid a surcharge to Neurona




The Madrid Prosecutor’s Office has opposed the appeal presented by Podemos against the latest decision of Judge Juan José Escalonilla, which has commissioned an expert to establish whether the party inflated the price it paid to Neurona for the videos and images that he provided in the April 2019 campaign. He discards that that contract was simulated, but he remembers that it is also investigated if there was Electoral money “distraction”.

In a letter of January 3 to which ABC had access, the prosecutor reviews throughout 27 pages everything that took place in the procedure until last July, when the judge decided to extend the proceedings to carry out an analysis of the works of Neuron and find out if they accommodate the 363,000 euros of electoral money paid by United We Can awakening misgivings in the Court of Accounts. The purple formation is under investigation for an alleged electoral crime.

Although the prosecutor understands that throughout the investigation many of the shadows that were planned at the beginning have been clarified, when a complaint from the ex-lawyer of Podemos José Manuel Calvente put in solfa until there were Neurona workers, and “There were well-founded doubts about the reality of the contract”, considers that this last decision of the judge to “exhaust the investigation” is “pertinent and useful”.

Podemos was opposed, among other reasons, due to the difficulty for an expert to make an estimate of services that go beyond videos and images since they enter the intangible part of the consultancy. And less,
if you are going to do it without comparing similar contracts signed by political formations such as the Popular Party or the PSOE
which, they say, are expensive compared to the one they signed up for with Neurona.

«We understand as the recurrent that the political formation You can contract with the suppliers that you consider appropriate and the cost may not be reliably determined», Says the Prosecutor’s Office. “However,” he adds, “the diligence is logical in view of the procedures carried out, so the resolution is in accordance with the law.”

He reaches this conclusion after recalling that “the contract with Neurona is being investigated due to the circumstances referred to in the report of the Court of Accounts”, which pointed out the lack of justification of the consulting expenses that the party declared as electoral and therefore subject to public funding. And he adds that, as ordered by Judge Escalonilla, it is investigated “either as a mock contract or as a distraction.”

In this sense, the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office points out that “of the proceedings carried out the existence of a simulated contract is not incidentally proven “. This would be the distraction, which is what the judge tries to clarify with this diligence. Already in a car last October, he reminded Podemos that the electoral crime «can be
commit also when electoral funds are used to pay an electoral expense for a higher price
at their real cost in order to divert part of the existing cash in the electoral accounts to a purpose other than the service that is paid, hiding said distraction by setting an excessive price “.

It concludes that there were workers and services

What seems to have been clarified for the Prosecutor’s Office is that “beyond the possible discrepancies” that the UDEF has been pointing out throughout the investigation “Neurona workers traveled to Madrid and stayed in different buildings in the capital.”

Also that the consultant provided service, since «videos were created and modified during the campaign and the people who created them are identified »as those same employees. Regarding its quality, he says that “nothing prevents the use of old images to make videos for different campaigns.”

It also understands that it has been ruled out since we can contract with other companies those services that Neurona was already suppose to provide because from the testimonies of other providers it comes to the conclusion that they offered different products.

With these wickers, the prosecutor sees necessary that last step on the quality-price of Neurona services. «Now, once practiced, the judge will decide what is appropriate, ruling the parties on the merits of the matter.

This is the central part of the Neurona case, which has been growing and decreasing over the months. Good because the judge incorporated new lines of investigation, such as those that were finally referred to other courts in Madrid; good because I was filing them. Precisely, this December the Provincial Court ended the route of one of those lines, the one related to the Solidarity Fund of the party by rejecting the appeal of the accusations exercised by former senator Celia Cánovas and Vox against Escalonilla’s decision to archive it for lack of evidence.

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