This Thursday, the shadow of a mask case slipped onto the fourth floor of the Palacio de Cibeles, where the mayor’s office is located. Mathilde García Duarte also works in the same plant, whom Carlos Martinez-Almeida, the alderman’s cousin, pointed out to the judge as the person who gave the contact to whom commission agent Luis Medina should contact.
In a statement that isolates Martínez-Almeida from the case, his cousin at the same time presented the figure of who is the shadow of the mayor. Matilda Garcia Duarte is the general coordinator of the city council, a key position in the day-to-day management of the Spanish capital. The popular accusations weigh already with the request for his statement to the Instructional Court no. 47 of Madrid.
In addition to being an employee, Garcia Duarte is a friend of José Luis Martínez-Almeida and, according to his cousin, her friend. This friendship with Garcia Duarte is an argument presented by witness Carlos Martínez-Almeida to explain why, in March 2020, he approached her and not his cousin to link Luis Medina to the Consistory. The agency was the source of a $16 million purchase of medical supplies from public funds, four of which were defective, according to prosecutors, and six million ended up in the pockets of Medina and his partner, Alberto Lucegno.
While García Duarte’s statement flickers, the version that prevails in court statements follows the scenario laid out by José Luis Martinez-Almeida to the media a few days after elDiario.es reported on the secret investigation of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. March 31 office. And it is, although not the one that its main characters initially gave.
The mayor said he was not aware of his cousin’s involvement in Medina’s efforts until elDiario.es broke the first news of the case. However, José Luis Martínez-Almeida had been aware of the existence of an anti-corruption investigation for 17 months when prosecutors launched an investigation, formally requesting documents from the city council in November 2020. Four months later, the then General Coordinator of the Budgets will be announced by the Consistory, Elena Collado, in front of Attorney Luis Rodríguez Sol.
The next day after the exclusion, the Anti-Corruption Service files a complaint that it has been allowed to be considered by a judge in Madrid for a week, starting a court case. It was April 7, and on that day Almeida acknowledged his cousin’s involvement, but ensured that he would limit himself to providing an email from the city council, which had received “over a thousand” proposals for medical supplies.
This version contradicted Luis Medina’s statement to the Anti-Corruption Service, according to which someone gave him the phone number of the person in charge of procurement, Elena Collado. She herself told the prosecutor that she did not remember whether another city council general coordinator or councilor put her in touch with Medina. Versions began to change in court: Medina himself had already spoken about the email in front of the judge on April 25 and that he had put his phone there so that someone could contact him.
Clarifying Almeida’s version, his cousin stated in court this Thursday that the address was firstname.lastname@example.org, that is, the address of the general coordination of the mayor’s office of Madrid, headed by Matilde García Duarte. He also said that he spoke to Medina for the second time because he told him that no one was answering his email. And Almeida’s cousin had no problem using the mayor’s right hand again to find out what was going on. García Duarte was in charge of checking him and informing him that the message had arrived correctly.
This opens the parenthesis to fill in case of masks. Did Matilda Garcia Duarte order Elena Collado to call Luis Medina? Has the mayor’s right hand ever informed his boss of his cousin’s mediation in negotiations over what would be the city council’s biggest pandemic payout? Does Elena Collado remember the testimony she gives to the judge as a witness or accused? The popular accusations are already weighing the claim of a statement as a witness of Matilde Garcia Duarte, former boss of José Luis Carromero in the city council, with whom the word was not addressed.
Our readers were the first to know about this new corruption case, because it was the elDiario.es journalists who revealed this exclusive a week before it was picked up by all the other media. This is not the first time this has happened: it has already happened with the mask contract, for which Ayuso’s brother took a commission. Also at that time, elDiario.es was the first media outlet to report it.
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