The head of the central investigating court number 6 of the National Court, Manuel García Castellón, has taken a statement this Wednesday as defendants in the Kitchen operation to the husband of María Dolores de Cospedal, the businessman Ignacio López del Hierro, and who was the chief of staff of the former secretary general of the PP and also when he was president of Castilla-La Mancha, José Luis Ortiz.
This has acknowledged that Cospedal held meetings at the headquarters of the PP with the retired commissioner, José Manuel Villarejo. He says that the then general secretary called him and asked him to “take the official car and go to Riofrío to pick up Villarejo.” Riofrío is the cafeteria that is located just over 40 meters from the headquarters of the Popular Party, on the opposite side of the same street Genova in the center of Madrid.
Later, both traveled that distance with the official car of the PP and entered through the garage of the party headquarters. In this way, as he has admitted, there was no record of the commissioner’s visit nor was it recorded in the official Genoa 13 ticket book.
José Luis Ortiz has stated that this type of commission for meetings between Villarejo and Cospedal occurred “8 or 10 times”, without ruling out that the former secretary general had specified others through her secretaries.
María Dolores de Cospedal acknowledged on Tuesday having met with Villarejo “4 or 5 times” and said that perhaps she would have spoken “some more time” by phone with him.
The statement of López del Hierro, Cospedal’s husband
For his part, Ignacio López del Hierro, has corroborated that in the meeting with Villarejo and Cospedal in which he admits to having participated, the one on July 21, 2009 in which he introduced the commissioner to the general secretary, Villarejo also entered through the garage , as the “90 percent of the businessmen who went to the headquarters of the PP and did not want to be seen.”
López del Hierro, as it appears in the recording of that conclave, has acknowledged that he proposed to the commissioner the execution of “specific works for the PP”, but has stated that he said it out of “courtesy”, using the same word used yesterday by his wife to refer to the “current expenses” that he “once” was able to pay Villarejo for his efforts to inform the party.
Ignacio López del Hierro has added that he does not know if the PP ended up hiring the commissioner for this type of “work” because he lacks responsibility or decision-making capacity regarding contracts within the conservative formation.
Both María Dolores de Cospedal’s husband and her former chief of staff have denied any knowledge of the Kitchen operation or the veracity of the annotations of the 13 Villarejo agendas that incriminate them.