When the two prosecutors who came out with the Villarejo case, Igancio Stampa and Miguel Gordillo, searched the commissioner’s house in Boadilla together with the Internal Affairs agents, they did not believe what they saw when they opened the safe in the room: there was a real ” museum of recording in Spain”, with supports of all possible formats in the last three decades and some noted names that foreshadowed the worst: “We don’t have lives to investigate all this”. That was the phrase that said it all at the beginning of the Tandem cause, of which more than 30 podcasts have been carried through the global Spotify platform, with an unpublished interview with Stampa himself as the common thread.
The podcasts, of almost half an hour each, have been prepared by the journalists Álvaro de Cózar and Eva Lamarca, under the title ‘The country of demons’, alluding to the huge number of recordings that were found in the hands of the commissioner of politicians, journalists, businessmen and high-profile personalities who were systematically recorded by the commissioner, to later take advantage of it through his Cenyt group companies as intelligence work that he sold for millions in amounts. The intention of the authors of the podcast has always been to shed light and bring order to a case that has become entangled with political issues and the ramifications that lead to the ‘patriotic police’ and the so-called ‘State sewers’, a subject on which Cózar and Lamarca have already done other work in the form of a widely distributed podcast.
“We try to value the work of some prosecutors who launched themselves into this case just to find out if crimes have been committed or not,” explains Cózar in an interview with La Información, after thanking Stampa for his willingness to tell his personal story (without give details of the summary), since he arrived at the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office as a new prosecutor in the square, until he had to leave the case because he was not confirmed in the position (he was on secondment) due to the opening of an information file that questioned its relations with any of the parties. Cózar assures that in this work “a lot of light is shed on everything that was said about Stampa’s relationship with Podemos”, but with the warning that it is “a rather personal story”, in which no secrets are revealed that are not achievable by anyone who approaches the case, “nothing that is not published,” he says.
In the ten podcasts that make up the ‘The Country of Demons’ series, a former CNI agent who gave rise to the first of the pieces, the King case, which investigated the heirs of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, together with journalists, lawyers and other members of the judiciary. But Álvaro de Cózar admits that there were many more who said no to the offer to be interviewed at his job, because “they think something could happen to them.” In fact, the other prosecutor who initiated the case and who is still in it, Miguel Serrano, has not spoken in the podcasts, and the statements heard in the first two chapters of the policeman who directed the search of the Villarejo house, Gonzalo Fraga , are recordings of his statements in the case.
Stampa himself recalls two important details from those first moments in which he began to uncover a case that has reached the highest spheres of politics and the Ibex 35: on the one hand, his great harmony with Gonzalo Fraga – “I felt chemistry” , he says-, that he was the one who was in charge of custodian and locked up in the Department of Internal Affairs all the material found in Villarejo’s home, which later has gradually been released, according to analysis, to give rise to all the Open pieces of the case (and those that may still remain) in the Investigating Court number 6 of the National Court directed by Manuel García Castellón; and on the other hand, the two premonitory warnings that Miguel Serrano himself told Stampa when he asked him to join him in the investigation are significant: that the biggest problem they were going to have was “friendly fire” and that they would it was more likely that they would not reach the end of the case together.
Although the first of these two issues is difficult to prove, despite the media impact and social alarm of the case, confrontations and plots of all kinds have surfaced even within the judiciary itself, the second of the predictions was the one that It was fully accomplished in just three years. In October 2020, Ignacio Stampa was the only prosecutor on secondment in Anti-Corruption who was not confirmed as a vacancy, forcing him to give way to another colleague and return to his post at the Madrid Prosecutor’s Office, in a clear confrontation with the then State Attorney General, Dolores Delgado, whose name had also come to light in some of Villarejo’s recordings. As the authors of the podcast appeared, everything points to the fact that “the same system that put Stampa in the chaos is the one that later swallows him and leaves him lying down.”
Spotify has spared no means to launch this podcast series on the most popular case of the moment. To season the work of Álvaro de Cózar and Eva Lamarca, we have had the original music by Iván Cester, author of the soundtrack of ‘Timecode’, a short film that has won a Goya, a Palme d’Or and was nominated for an Oscar. And the cover of the podcast is a design on a painting by Juan Genovés, the author who portrayed La Transición with his work, known for the painting ‘El Abrazo’.