The former secretary general of the PP María Dolores de Cospedal has again acknowledged this Tuesday before the judge that she met about six times with the former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, but she does not remember that in none of them they talked about the lawyer of the former treasurer of the party Luis Bárcenas or the Gürtel case.
Cospedal has gone this morning to the National Court to testify as a witness in a separate piece of the Villarejo case that revolves around the alleged pressures that Bárcenas or his lawyer Javier Gómez de Liaño would have suffered from "third parties linked" to the PP so that "compromising or harmful information would not come to light" for the formation on the Gürtel case.
Pressures from which Mariano Rajoy's former number two in the party has dissociated herself by reiterating that she does not remember ever having spoken to Villarejo about this lawyer or knowing who paid for Luis Bárcenas' defense, according to legal sources.
If in the investigation into the Kitchen case of espionage on Bárcenas, in which she was accused for a few months, Cospedal admitted to having met with Villarejo some three or four times, this Tuesday she has indicated that she was with the former commissioner on about six occasions at the headquarters of the PP, on Madrid's Calle Genova, and in her capacity as secretary general.
He did so, he reiterated, because at that time information was coming in that there were many people who wanted to harm the party and Villarejo was a person who had a lot of information, but he does not remember that they talked about Bárcenas' lawyer.
Initially, according to the sources, he also denied that they discussed the Gürtel case, although he later said he did not remember it.
During his appearance, which lasted about half an hour and in which the judge did not ask him any questions, Cospedal also did not recall that he spoke with Villarejo about the considered leader of the Russian-Georgian mafia Zakhar Kalashov, whom Gómez de Liaño also defended and who appears in the diaries of the former commissioner, where there were notes about "possible payments that this lawyer would have allegedly received" from his client.
Villarejo himself, who testified yesterday before the judge, suggested to the media that he "probably" spoke with Cospedal de Kalashov in one of the "many" meetings they held.
The also former Minister of Defense has admitted to knowing the lawyer Javier Iglesias, who defended the former treasurer of the PP Álvaro Lapuerta, now deceased, and has pointed out that she coincided with him once at the headquarters of the party, while she has denied having met with any of Bárcenas' lawyers.
Cospedal has also acknowledged a meeting with the former Secretary of State for Security Francisco Martínez, but only to address issues of electoral candidacies; and he has admitted to having also coincided with former police number two Eugenio Pino, but has not recalled in what context, the sources add.
Both are accused of Operation Kitchen, an alleged espionage on Bárcenas and his family to steal documents from Gürtel damaging to the PP, in which Judge Manuel García Castellón saw no evidence against Cospedal and ended up removing her from the investigation.
In his statement, urged by the Criminal Chamber of the National Court at the request of Gómez de Liaño, Cospedal has confessed to not knowing why he has had to appear and has assured that he does not know any of those investigated in this procedure.
- María Dolores de Cospedal