The Chief Anti-Drug Prosecutor sees the appointment of Javier Zaragoza as “illegal” in Campo de Gibraltar


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The prosecutor ofChief Chamber of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, José Ramón Noreña, has submitted a letter to the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) this Monday to express its discrepancy with the appointment of the Supreme Court Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza as a reinforcement of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office for Campo de Gibraltar. It emphasizes that this decision of the head of the FGE, Dolores Delgado, es ‘illegal and unfounded’.

This letter of discrepancy comes after Delgado appointed Zaragoza to reinforce the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering in the Campo de Gibraltar territorial area and surrounding areas. Then, it was pointed out that Zaragoza would develop this work in cooperation and “without prejudice to the functions that they have in this matter. the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office and the territorial prosecutor’s offices in the area, with which it will maintain the necessary coordination “.

But Noreña explains in his letter that he has not been formally notified of Delgado’s resolution but that he was only sent “A copy to the private email of your secretary”, and adds that the decree of appointment has been issued without any prior management by the FGE with Antidroga in which reference was made to the complex situation of the fight against drug trafficking there.

“I totally ignore the ‘iter’ followed for the adoption of the designation made in the aforementioned Decree, of which there is no registration number, nor indication of the possible remedies that fit against said decision,” he points out, and then adds that in all case, not only Zaragoza is designated but also “Some imprecise orders” coordination between the designated and the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

For this reason, it adheres to article 27.1 of the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to show its discrepancy and highlights that the decree is null by right because “Is contrary to the provisions” of that specific norm that has the rank of Law.

In line, it points out that said statute does not authorize the FGE to appoint a delegate whose powers fully coincide with those of another prosecutor’s office, not even by way of territorially limiting the assignment or in relation to a special plan.

Remember that, according to the same statute (article 22.3), it is clear that the delegated prosecutors “are delegated in matters common to different territorial prosecutors, mainly to promote homogeneous ways of acting”, but in no case does it foresee the possibility of appointing a delegate “Whose functions fully coincide with those of a single Prosecutor’s Office.”

In addition, Noreña has an impact on his writing that there is an overlap because the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office has attributed among its functions those recognized by the Delgado decree to Zaragoza, that is, to coordinate the actions of the different prosecutors in order to prevention and repression of illegal drug trafficking and money laundering related to such trafficking.

After this, remember that the appointment of delegates is made through internal competition, with a report from two Chief Prosecutors (territorial and Anti-drug), a hearing by the Fiscal Council and appointment by the FGE.

Any procedure has been dispensed with

Noreña thus puts the focus on the fact that from a formal perspective, Delgado’s decree to appoint Zaragoza “has been issued totally and absolutely disregarding any procedure”, and compares it with the appointment of Ana Villagómez in 2019 as regional delegate of this Special Prosecutor’s Office.

It emphasizes that there is no record of the initiation of the file, the publication of the decree is delayed for four days, there is no indication of eventual appeals and points as important as knowing from whom the initiative for its adoption are ignored. He insists that he as chief prosecutor has not reported on the necessity or convenience of the measure adopted, and adds that instead of directly appointing Zaragoza an “internal contest” should have been called.

On the other hand, he insists that this designation is inadmissible because in the decree, although it is said that the activity carried out by Antidroga in the Campo de Gibraltar area is “remarkable”, it simply points out that the criminal organizations “keep up to date with today in this geographical area an undesirable capacity to act ”for which he considers that the intervention should be reinforced.

Indefinite hierarchical position

Noreña reports that precautions have already been taken, such as the attribution to the prosecutor Villagómez of the functions of inter-territorial coordination, and highlights that the decisions adopted have had a “satisfactory result.” And it considers that it is inappropriate to designate a person as coordinator of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office without integrating him into it because “Leaves undefined what is his hierarchical position in relation to this leadership.”

In addition, he believes that “A real overlap” between the powers of his position as head of Anti-drug and those of Zaragoza, and also between those attributed to him by the decree and those of the regional delegate Villagómez.

It thus warns that if the decree is maintained, “doubts and perplexity” will be generated both in the agents who operate in the area and in the prosecutors themselves since they will not know who to contact, for what, or, in the case of receiving instructions, no longer contradictory, but simply different, who to obey. «What is presented as a supposed solution is rather a detriment to the proper functioning of all machinery investigation and repression of drug trafficking and the laundering associated with it »he insists.

Likewise, he reminds Delgado that the actions of criminal organizations dedicated to drug trafficking are not exclusive to the Bay of Algeciras and surrounding areas because they cover the entire national territory, and after citing Galicia or the Costa del Sol as examples, he indicates that the fight is constant, “And yet it is still a criminal activity on the rise throughout the world.”

Noreña also disagrees with Delgado’s “implicit statement” that the appointment of Zaragoza will mean an improvement in the fight against drug trafficking, and takes the opportunity to question how he will combine his new position with that of the Supreme Court prosecutor.

Regarding this need to improve the situation, it indicates that in the event that it is considered that the Antidroga action is insufficient, it must be evaluated what the real needs of the same are, “so that such designation is not only not justified, but contrary to all logic ».

Measures taken in 2018 and 2019

In the letter, Noreña details that already in the summer of 2018 measures were adopted by the Government in the Special Security Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar, which in fiscal matters resulted in several decisions. On the one hand, in February 2019 the provincial delegate of Cádiz was entrusted with the assumption of coordination powers among the delegates of this Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office in Andalusia, indicating the steps to be taken by the investigators.

Subsequently, in July 2019, Ana Villagómez was appointed regional prosecutor of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office in the Andalusian Prosecutor’s Office, and after taking office she performs the coordination functions in that territorial scope, and communication with Antidroga “to full satisfaction.”

And he highlights that this appointment has resulted “in a notable improvement in the fight against drug trafficking in the Bay of Algeciras and nearby provinces”, and qualifies as significant the work on the Costa del Sol in Malaga, in the rest of the province of Cádiz and in the provinces of Seville and Huelva.

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