The head of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 of the National Court, Manuel García Castellón, will decide in the next few hours whether to extend the secrecy that weighs on the actions around Podemos that were reopened by the statements of Chavista general Hugo Carvajal pointing to possible irregular financing crimes and that expires this Tuesday. According to the sources consulted by this newspaper, the Prosecutor’s Office will position itself in favor of maintaining the veil.
The case, reopened last October, continues its course but at half gas waiting for the Criminal Chamber to rule on the battery of proceedings entrusted to the UDEF by the court and that the Prosecutor’s Office appealed because it understands that they exceed the object of the investigation and could scratch the prospective.
They do not see in Carvajal’s statements, nor in those of the protected witnesses who have already paraded through the court, enough evidence to commission certain inquiries.
However, the Court took this step considering that the facts detailed both by the general and by the two witnesses were serious and extended beyond 2017, so that if they were true, the criminal conduct would not be prescribed and could constitute crimes. illegal financing and/or money laundering. It should also be remembered that the statements, in the case of Carvajal, were accompanied by documentation.
All in all, of the blocks of proceedings that the judge ordered from the police unit, at the moment efforts are focused on the only one that the Prosecutor’s Office has not resorted to, a first analysis of these testimonies where conclusions are drawn about the crimes that they point to and the steps that could be taken accordingly, according to the sources consulted.
Meanwhile, the investigations entrusted to the companies Viu Comunicaciones and Viu Europa remain up in the air, which would have received funds from the Government of Venezuela to specifically hire three co-founders of Podemos, including Carolina Bescansa and who, according to Hugo Carvajal, would have been functioning for years as a cover to continue diverting funds to the party.
The accounts of the alleged covers
The judge had asked the UDEF to dissect the accounts of these companies and also analyze those of the alleged recipients of the funds to clarify whether the first payment included in one of the documents provided by Carvajal is recorded and whether more were produced throughout the years and in what concepts. However, given that both Carvajal and the two witnesses who pointed out these events did so by reference, since they did not know him first-hand, the Prosecutor’s Office understood that the investigation of the accounts was going too far.
The prosecutor’s appeal does not suspend or paralyze the diligence, but de facto ends up delaying the adoption of new steps in the investigation that could come undone, if the Criminal Chamber does not endorse the battery of investigations commissioned, according to the sources consulted .
It will be the Chamber that decides whether or not to endorse these proceedings and thus, the future of the investigation, because the analysis of the accounts of these companies is considered essential by the investigators given the indications that they could be used as a cover to divert funds and no longer only in the assignment that appears in a resolution of the Government of Venezuela for advice in a stand of the state oil company in a congress in Moscow, but in possible subsequent assignments.
The judge had also asked the UDEF to make inquiries about Juan Carlos Monedero and the money he was able to collect in cash at a Meliá hotel in Caracas (Venezuela) or the money he was able to receive through false consulting contracts, according to the testimonies.
The difference with the proceedings on Viu lies in the fact that there is one of the witnesses who speaks in the first person both about the management of briefcases with cash for this and other leftist movements inside and outside Latin America and about the presence of the co-founder of Podemos benefiting of that supposed support of the Government of Hugo Chavez first and later, of Nicolás Maduro.