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HomeLatest NewsThe judge allows only party experts to access BBVA data on Villarejo

The judge allows only party experts to access BBVA data on Villarejo

Date: June 17, 2024 Time: 06:30:19

The National Court judge investigating the work carried out by commissioner José Manuel Villarejo for BBVA has agreed that the different accused persons designate their experts so that they are the ones who have access to the 2.3 million files provided by the entity and that have been selected using keywords that have to do with the investigation. This is stated in an order of the magistrate Manuel García Castellón, to whom he has had access to Europa Press, in which he recalls that on March 30 he agreed to deliver those ‘hits’ -files- to the different parties, although now it specifies the way in which this data transmission is carried out.

BBVA unsuccessfully opposed the delivery of those millions of documents to the parties, arguing that the right to privacy of third parties who were not party to the procedure was being violated. It pointed out that this “universe of hits” contained data belonging to customers, employees and suppliers, and that there were also false positives and errors in the sample due to coincidences in surnames.

The judge, now, indicates that although he does not agree with the entity in its claim, he does consider it convenient to define how to carry out the procedure that will consist of the parties being able to review those files to protect “the rights and interests in presence”. “This diligence must be agreed in the way in which less interference causes the rights and interests of those affected, of all those affected,” he points out.

Thus, and embracing the proposal of the Public Prosecutor in its entirety, the magistrate agrees that each accusation that has requested to review the hits designates a single expert, who writes down recalling the scope of the expert commissioned, and that these experts appear in a “personal” way. before the court to establish the line of their action and for them to assume “the professional commitment” that only they and their staff have access to those files. The judge also points out that he can only use that information to which he will have access to prepare the expert report and therefore “cannot provide a copy of the extracted material to any of the parties, including those that have been hired.”

Extracting the files

In this sense, García Castellón indicates that these experts must designate their information technicians so that they, in court and together with those designated by BBVA if they deem it appropriate, carry out the process of extracting those files. “This guarantees that the extraction is correct, that it deals with the precise object on which it is damaged and that there is no kind of manipulation, modification or distortion in its integrity and identity”, indicates the judge.

And remember that, once the expert has carried out, the experts must provide “the apparatus of the documentation extracted from the court” although without prejudice to the fact that they can make a copy of part to provide it as an annex to their report. “This prevents all information that is not strictly relevant as an annex to the report from being accessible to the parties,” he points out. The magistrate considers that in this way there is “sufficient guarantee” that the designated experts are the ones who will only have access to the information “avoiding its leaking.”

The internal affairs report

The analysis of these ‘hits’ has been a recurring issue in this case since the entity will provide its forensic report on these ‘orders’ to Villarejo for which it would have paid CENYT, a company owned by the commissioner, more than 10 million euros – as stated in the summary. In fact, after in 2020 the magistrate entrusted the study of these files to the Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) of the Police, he received in March 2021 the report in which he recorded the relations of directors of the entity with the retired commissioner.

However, now, the magistrate acknowledges in his order that the analysis by the complaints of these ‘hits’ is necessary “in view of the lack of means and personnel in the UAI to proceed with the aforementioned practice.” He indicates that, if left in the hands of Internal Affairs, “it would entail notable damage for that unit.” To the decision that experts be named on the part of the suspicions, the judge adds another agreement, and that is that BBVA is asked whether or not it wants to contribute the different versions of the results maps of those keyword searches in its files. Specifically, he asks for the hits associated with version 7 that are classified as ‘level 1’ -1,748,230 documents- and those of ‘level 2’ -82,248-.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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