The noise clouds the facts of the 'Begoña Gómez case'; investigation reveals no crimes | Spain

Politics is embroiled in daily dialectical brawls following a noisy criminal case against Begoña Gómez, wife of the president, Pedro Sánchez. The case was born with little basis, judging by the known facts. Its origins are a complaint from a far-right organization, Clean Hands, based on many newspaper clippings and some fake news.. The complaint that allowed Judge José Luis Peinado to order an investigation does not provide evidence of the crime of influence peddling attributed to Begoña Gómez. Despite this, the instructor promotes the case against Gómez because the reported events “regardless of whether the source of the documentation is the media, deserve to be investigated and are specific facts of actions in which the suspect may have directly participated.” The specific facts are Gómez's relationships with officials of two companies (Air Europa and Innova Next) that received contracts and public support from the central government. In the complainant's story, there is no information about the influence that Gómez might have exerted on the entities or officials who granted this public support. To find out what the complaint did not foresee, The judge requested a report from the UCO, the Civil Guard unit specialized in the fight against corruption. At the same time, he granted Gómez “under investigation” status to “prevent her defenselessness,” allowing him to appoint a lawyer to defend himself.

A well-known investigation that Sánchez has never hidden

Eight days after the opening of the secret case, on April 24, 2024, all media reported that a court had initiated proceedings against Begoña Gómez for alleged influence peddling. In a letter addressed to citizens that day, it was publishedPresident Pedro Sánchez referred to the previous proceedings opened against his wife and announced that he was taking five days to consider his future. Although Gómez has been under investigation since April 16, 2024, the judge has not yet called her to testify, nor has he been able to gather evidence of the influence peddling he is investigating. There are open cases in the courts that are filed due to lack of evidence, without the investigator calling the person under investigation to testify.

UCO report: no trace of influence

The Guardia Civil investigated the reported signs of crime on behalf of the judge. A report of 114 pages and six appendices concluded: no trace of influence. The Guardia Civil analyzed the contracts awarded to Innova Next, the company of Juan Carlos Barrabés, professor at the Complutense Chair headed by Begoña Gómez. That company participated in a joint venture with another company in a Red.es competition, dependent on the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The offer included, in the part valued at 8%, a maximum of 32 expressions of support from companies and public institutions. Begoña Gómez signed one of those letters on behalf of the Complutense; The Employment Department of Madrid City Council signed another. The Guardia Civil found no indications that the award was irregular, nor that there was influence in favor of Innova, nor that Gómez had a relationship with those responsible for Red.es who intervened in the process.

The court supports the investigation because it is credible

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Three judges of the Provincial Court of Madrid allow the judge to continue the investigation, because the account of events in the complaint is credible and “a suspicion based on objective and verifiable data” is sufficient. But they add that if “after the precise verifications and investigations are verified, the hypothesis is toned down, an agreement will be reached on the immediate file.” When the prosecutor recalls the report of the Guardia Civil, which weakens the hypothesis of ventilation of influence, the Chamber states that it cannot assess “what the instructor has not yet assessed, because this would mean that his exclusive jurisdiction is affected.”

Incoherent complaint, with incorrect facts and suspicions

The Court confirms that the complaint has “incoherent content”, “with an implausible first factual block or with incorrect data.” Moreover, it considers “a simple suspicion that goes beyond temporal and personal coincidences” to link Gómez with the influence peddling. for the rescue of Air Europa with the EUR 475 million loan provided by the government. But he points out that the letter of support signed by Gómez in favor of Barrabés is objective data from which it can be deduced “that there are indications of the alleged commission of a criminal offense.” The Provincial Court is of the opinion that “objective indications point to mediation in the granting of subsidies.” The Guardia Civil dismantles this assessment after verifying the suspicious facts: there is no evidence of Gómez's mediation for Red.es to award the contracts to Barrabés.

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