The defenses of Villarejo's partner and wife ask the court to annul the commissioner's recordings
The retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, on his departure this Wednesday from the National Court after the session of the first trial he faces.Alberto Ortega (Europa Press)

The defense lawyers of Rafael Redondo, partner of the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, and of Gemma Alcalá, the policeman’s wife, dedicated a good part of their interventions on Thursday in the processing of preliminary questions of the second session of the first great trial of the Villarejo case in questioning the legal validity of one of the main evidence of the procedure: the hundreds of hours of audios recorded by Villarejo himself of his conversations with his clients and others involved, and which were intervened by the police in their homes and offices when was arrested in November 2017.

The court’s decision on this petition will not only condition the development of this hearing, in which 27 individuals and five legal entities sit on the bench by three lines of investigation (Iron, Land and Pintor), including Villarejo himself – for the that the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office asks for 110 years in prison—, but also that of the rest of the thirty separate pieces of the macrosummary where the police plot orchestrated by the retired policeman is investigated, eight of which the judge of the National Court Manuel García-Castellón has already concluded.

Villarejo himself absent from the session due to a judicial matter in another court, the first to intervene was Redondo’s lawyer, who questioned the authenticity of the sound files – “we do not know if they are copies of copies of copies” – and highlighted that no “recording artifact” was intervened to clarify whether they have been tampered with. For all these reasons, he demanded that they be “expelled from the procedure” and, therefore, they cannot be used as evidence for the accusations. The lawyer charged against Anti-Corruption for the use that he had made of these audios to “fatten the pieces of the Villarejo case”.

The lawyer – who asked to suspend the case considering that the National Court is not the competent judicial body for the type of crimes that are tried – also questioned the validity of the rest of the documents intervened in digital format during the searches. Most of them were found in the computer equipment and storage devices located in the homes and offices of Villarejo and his partner. The lawyer for the latter assured that these objects were not subjected to judicial control after being seized and, therefore, the chain of custody was broken, which must guarantee that they do not suffer any manipulation.

In this sense, the lawyer detailed that, according to the summary, they remained for 17 days in what he described as “a limbo without judicial control” in the hands of the Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) of the Police before they surrendered. To the court. Therefore, the defender, who accused this police unit and the National Intelligence Center (CNI) of being the “instigators” of the investigation, asked to annul both the evidence obtained from the content of these devices, which support much of the macrocauses, such as those that were subsequently obtained from them when they were considered contaminated.

The strategy of requesting the nullity of the evidence was followed by most of the lawyers for the other defendants who intervened this Thursday, including the defense of the commissioner’s wife, who denounced that the alleged objective of the investigation was not to dismantle a criminal plot, but “appropriate the recordings.” “The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office has bowed to the perfidious interests of the police and the CNI,” he added. The policewoman’s lawyer also asked that Podemos be expelled from the case as a popular accusation for having made, in his opinion, “electoral use of the cause.” The trial sessions will resume on November 15, with the intervention of the last defenses in the processing of previous questions before beginning the interrogation of the accused.

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