Case ‘Macedonia’: indigestible plot of police corruption by an informer
A macro cause against police corruption linked to drug trafficking. Among those investigated, agents of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Civil Guard and the National Police. Thus started the investigation of the ‘Macedonia’ case, but twelve years later, 17 defendants have arrived at the trial, among whom there is only one in uniform: a sub-inspector of the Catalan police, Josep R., for whom the prosecutor Ana Gil asks for eleven years in prison for collaborating with a network of drug traffickers headed by Manuel Gutierrez Carbajo, confidant of the three Corps.
Gutiérrez Carbajo, nicknamed ‘grandfather’ or ‘old man’, was the same one who revealed another corrupt plot of police officers who charged bribes to prevent imminent raids on the Saratoga and Riviera brothels in Castelldefels (Barcelona).
Although when the trial began, in 2012, he partially contradicted his initial statement, the chief commissioner of the National Police Immigration Brigade, Luis Gómez, and two other chief inspectors were convicted for this cause.
The start of the ‘Macedonia’ case dates back to a tip-off received by the Civil Guard in May 2009. An alleged trafficker, Juan Miguel B., alias ‘the glasses’, was supposed to pick up a drug shipment in Barcelona. When the agents went to the indicated point, they saw how he picked up several packages from the trunk of a car. The report stated that the contents of the shipment were about 54 kilos of cocaine, but days later it was found that only one was drug. The rest was made up of sugar and gypsum. This led to the owner of the Court of Instruction 1 of Barcelona, Joaquín Aguirre, to investigate an alleged criminal network between agents and traffickers.
The different investigations generated conflicts between the three Corps, with the common point of sharing Gutiérrez Carbajo as a confidant. It was this, according to the prosecutor, “at the top of the criminal network” that is now judged in the Barcelona Court, the one that led to the Mossos, in some investigations that he then directed Josep Lluís Trapero –when he was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division–, to discover the involvement of some national police officers with the brothels, but in turn, the CNP tracked down several Mossos for their alleged collaboration with the drug traffickers. In fact, Judge Aguirre even appeared in Egara, the central complex of the Mossos, to look for documentation that, he suspected, had been hidden from him. Finally, only a sub-inspector of the Catalan police sits on the bench. The Public Ministry points out that the commander, at that time stationed in Vilanova i la Geltrú, would have received payments of 1,000 euros per month for his collaboration with the criminal network – and also a video game console.
Among the evidence put forward by the Prosecutor’s Office against Josep R., and corroborated yesterday in court by the head of Internal Affairs of the Catalan police, is the use The sub-inspector made use of the police databases to provide information to the drug network, with whom he maintained “fluid telephone contact” and also in various meetings. Among these, a dinner at the La Parrilla de Vilanova restaurant, where both the Mosso and two of the alleged drug traffickers detected the presence of a van with tinted windows. After that, the command called the police station to find out who owned the vehicle, and the next day it was he himself who accessed the Body’s database, where he verified that it was a National Police car.
Upon confirming the follow-up, those under investigation changed their telephone numbers – they already did so regularly – and increased their security measures, while the Mosso informed his superior of the encounter, under the pretext of having met with confidants. His lawyer took hold of this extreme yesterday, José María Fuster Fabra, thus trying to dismantle the accusation against the policeman. In addition, he criticized that the Internal Affairs Division (DAI) did not include in the reports that it delivered to the court the transcript of the intervened conversations that would demonstrate it..
“Do you have doubts that they were your confidants?” The lawyer snapped at the head of the DAI, during his appearance as a witness. “No,” said the aforementioned.
At the beginning of the case, the investigating judge even put Trapero in the spotlight, due to his relationship with the informer Carbajo, although he was not investigated. Finally, he will testify as a witness in February.
The last turn of the screw came with the previous questions, when Gutiérrez Carbajo’s lawyer requested to summon ex-commissioner José Manuel Villarejo as a witness, whom the informer accuses of fabricating the case against him, with the aim of “discrediting” the elder and the Mossos Corps.
To support this assertion, the defense of the alleged capo alluded to a conversation with the former commissioner in 2009 –which ‘La Razón’ published last summer–, in which Villarejo slipped the possibility of convincing Judge Baltasar Garzón to tap Trapero’s phone and listening to his conversations with the main defendant in the ‘Macedonia’ case. Despite the lawyer’s attempts, the magistrates of the 3rd Section dismissed this summons, considering that “the journalistic information and the statements of this man cannot be taken into consideration to judge events that happened more than ten years ago.”
Of the total of 17 defendants, five have already closed an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, which has reduced their prison sentences from four to two years.
On trial, 12 years later
Some lawyers, such as José María Fuster Fabra, who defends the only accused Mosso in the case, or Miguel Caput, who represents two defendants for drug trafficking, criticize the delay in the procedure, when in these 12 years “there has been no element new that has allowed to keep instruction ‘alive’. In addition, the sub-inspector’s lawyer criticized yesterday that the investigators did not search the agent’s address in search of evidence of his alleged corruption and that they were based solely on some wiretaps, since Fuster reproaches that not all of them have been transcribed.