The State lawyer before the Court of Accounts, Rafael García Monteys, has referred the director of the State Legal Service, Consuelo Castro, to a consultation on whether or not the State Bar should issue the report that the examining delegate of the Court of Accounts, Esperanza García Moreno, has requested in relation to the guarantees issued by the Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) and presented by 29 former senior officials of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
In a report, signed this Wednesday and consulted by ABC, García Monteys points out that it can “There is a possible conflict of interest” as the State Bar “is also a party to the procedure in which the request for a report has been raised” from the investigating delegate. And therefore he inhibits himself from the decision elevating her to the head of the State Attorney General, to whom García Monteys asks to respond “as soon as possible.”
The matter raised by the State attorney before the TdC to his superior is that until the phase of the supplementary provisional liquidation of the case in the TdC that investigates the possible undue spending of 34 former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat for the foreign action of the ‘ procés’ between 2011 and 2017, from which a solidarity guarantee of 5.4 million euros is claimed, the State Legal Service was a party, while it was considered to be injured. The investigating delegate, finally, removed the State Bar from the case after the provisional liquidation.
However, at the end of July, García Moreno asked the Presidency of the Prosecution Section of the TdC to request a report from the State Attorney to the TdC, based on article 20.3 of Law 7/1988, of April 5, on the Operation of the Court of Accounts, before deciding if he accepted the 29 endorsements presented by as many defendants (out of 34 in total) who bore the ICF seal as legal surety. A few days before, the Generalitat had approved a decree law to empower the ICF and make it a guarantor for individuals with public money. García Moreno also asked the State Bar if the former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat, in this case, They can benefit from the principle of indemnity.
“Legal and public relevance”
Thus, García Monteys raises doubts about the actions of the State Bar. «The question that raises doubts prior to the issuance of the report and that is submitted to that superiority is whether it is possible to exercise the advisory function in relation to issues that arise in proceedings, in this case non-jurisdictional (since it is the phase of prior instruction to the judicial process), in which the State Attorney intervenes as a party, having evacuated procedures in which it has promoted the action of the Court of Accounts to investigate the existence of possible accounting liabilities ”.
And it warns that “the position as a party in the procedure that gives rise to the request for the report could directly affect the necessary objectivity and impartiality that the advisory function must govern “and” could affect “the position of the State Bar before the TdC” in the procedure underway, conditioning the rest of its action, and also the processing of the previous actions, to the be able to give rise to an assumption of nullity of actions if it were to be considered that the report issued would have altered the balance between the different intervening parties ”.
For this reason, García Monteys considers that “there may be doubts about the existence of a conflict of interest that prevent the issuance of the report” and points out that, in his opinion, article 20.3 of the Law on the Operation of the Court of Accounts, which states that the TdC can request reports from the State Bar, does not imply “exclusive competence”, nor that it is “a right of the State Legal Service to evacuate these reports in Law.”
In this way, Castro, the head of the State Attorney General, will have the last word on the preparation, or not, of the report requested by García Moreno, who in turn will decide on the guarantees they presented, among others and up to 29 involved, Artur Mas, Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont. García Monteys recognizes in his report on Wednesday that the case is complex and supports part of his decision to raise the case because it is “a matter of great legal complexity, for having a special social transcendence, because it affects a large number of interested parties and because of its special general interest, as well as for its legal and public relevance ”.