Koldo's “achiever” worries the PSOE

Yesterday, former Minister of Transportation José Luis Ábalos walked around the Senate's investigative committee on the “Koldo case” as if he were the headliner of a bullfight in Las Ventas. In part, because of his skill as a parliamentarian; and in part, also, due to the inexperience or lack of preparation of some of the spokespersons of the groups, whose task was to have studied the summary of the case and to have prepared questions that went beyond the obvious ones in the press summaries and known about this alleged corruption plot for the sale of masks during the pandemic.

The work of the investigative commissions of the Senate and Congress is not serving, as expected, to make any discovery that transcends what is already known, nor are they offering great headlines, overshadowed, on the other hand, by the campaign of the Catalan elections. The relevance of this plot is not in the Cortes, but in the progress of the judicial investigation and in the movements that have been made in the shadows to “order” the parliamentary appearances as much as possible and contain the damage of the statements of the cited, especially in the Senate, where the PP controls the work with its absolute majority.

The former minister and his “right-hand man”, his advisor Koldo García, have agreed to ignore everything, and deny everything, from a completely different criminal situation, because Ábalos does not appear in the summary nor is he charged.

In this damage control movement, which affects Moncloa and the PSOE, the piece that seems weakest, and that, at least for the moment, is most worrying, is that of Víctor de Aldama, president of Zamora CF and considered one of the ringleaders of the plot due to their alleged prevalence in the Ministry of Transportation. For this reason, it is believed that he influenced the contracts to end up being awarded to Soluciones de Gestión, a company associated with the plot. By the way, Aldama was also with Ábalos and his advisor Koldo at the airport to receive Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and is known in the investigation as a mediator on behalf of Air Europa.

He was arrested by the Civil Guard on February 20 and is being investigated for crimes of criminal organization, influence peddling, bribery and money laundering. Due to the degree of his involvement, he has privileged information about the case and his collaboration with the Justice Department could be decisive, and could serve him to avoid a possible imprisonment due to his lack of criminal record.

The alarm among some of those involved, and also within the Socialist Party, comes from the side of the defense that has been hired: the former judge of the National Court José Antonio Choclán, a lawyer known for his tendency to reach agreements with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office to obtain the most advantageous situation for its clients, at the cost of what is commonly known as “pulling the blanket.”

Choclán has already handled other relevant corruption cases in which he chose to collaborate with the Public Ministry. And in this hypothetical scenario, the risk for those involved is that within the “covert pact” to protect each other as much as possible, in the interest of everyone, there is some piece that leaves the agreement for its own benefit and breaks the balance. established in the relationship with the investigators to obtain mitigating measures.

For now, it can be said that the names that have already appeared in the Senate have shown themselves loyal to the strategy of avoiding blaming the PSOE and guaranteeing their silence. Regarding Aldama, former Minister Ábalos limited himself to highlighting his role as an advisor to Air Europa and noted that he had many relations with Venezuela, both with the Government and with the opposition.

Last February, the Tax Agency sent a report to the National Court in which it indicated that the negotiations for the public rescue of Air Europa were the origin of the “Koldo case.” The Treasury indicated that Aldama became a shadow “consultant” for the airline, which allowed him to establish a close relationship with officials that he later used to close the contracts under investigation.

For now, it should be said that the socialist leadership breathes a certain peace of mind because they appreciate that the “Koldo case” has not had an impact on the Basque elections, nor do they believe that it will do so in the Catalan ones. And even, on the contrary, they believe that with the counteroffensive that they have launched in Congress, in the end what is being created is “a certain atmosphere” in which the two main parties are once again engaged in the “and you more” and this may end up benefiting Vox.

They do not fear scares from the parliamentary sphere, nor do they expect short-term surprises from the judiciary: they trust that there will be no more news about this scandal until the next European elections on June 9 are over. “There has been no revelation that goes beyond the journalistic information already known.”

The PP, however, maintains that the work is following the “logical” order and that its agenda will end up bearing fruit.

His wife's accounts are still blocked

The judge of the National Court (AN) rejected the appeal in which Víctor de Aldama's wife, Patricia Ramos, requested the unblocking of her accounts. Magistrate Ismael Moreno points out in the order that her decision is based on indications of her husband's use of those accounts in the framework of the criminal actions for which he is being investigated.

According to the second section of the Criminal Chamber, there are elements that indicate that Aldama could “commit crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering, bribery and influence peddling in relation to the emergency contracts formalized by the General Administration of the State and the institutional public sector,” reports EFE.

And he adds that the commission agent would have used those two accounts now blocked to commit the crimes with which he obtained an economic benefit of 5.5 million euros. The Chamber wants to avoid a possible theft of assets.