Ramiro Grau: «I was clear that the “X” was Ábalos, but now I think it is the PSOE and Pedro Sánchez»

He is a lawyer, but he is known as the first whistleblower of the “Koldo case.” Ramiro Grau is from Aragon and recognizes himself as “stubborn” because when he has something between his eyebrows, he doesn't stop. In April 2020, just a month after the first two contracts under suspicion were formalized in the orbit of the Ministry of Transportation led by José Luis Ábalos, he published a series of articles in which he questioned numerous irregularities, gaps and opaque points about the company in the plot, Soluciones de Gestión y Apoyo a las Empresas SL, the company that belongs to the Cueto Group and was domiciled in Zaragoza. And after that, his ordeal in court began.

In dialogue with LA RAZÓN, he explains that three lawsuits have been filed against him by the same company, the then administrator, José Ángel Escorial. Senator, and the former head of Transport in those years, the socialist politician José Luis Ábalos, who at that time was Pedro Sánchez's right-hand man in the PSOE. The pressure was enormous: they demanded 60,000, 150,000 and 70,000 euros, respectively.

The three demands

In total, there were 280,000 euros that weighed like a slab on Grau's head, who this week had good news: the Provincial Court of Zaragoza dismissed the appeal filed by Management Solutions against the sentence that had already previously rejected that the lawyer would have violated the right to honor of the company. On the other hand, the demand for DumpSenator It was also rejected, but the businessman, whose name appears in the summary of the case being investigated by Judge Ismael Serrano in the National Court, has appealed and it is pending in the Provincial Court of Madrid.

“It seems like they have plenty of money, because they use it all,” he reflects. «First, Management Solutions sued me; then Escorial Senator on his own in Madrid. Ábalos is pending trial. The courts are clogged and it is not normal for three lawsuits to be filed for a single article because all the courts would have to be closed,” he reflects. And he remembers that due to the stress of his procedural situation in 2021, he suffered a stroke. He was lucky because the ambulance arrived in 15 minutes and they were able to treat him in time, but he remained at the Miguel Servet Hospital for five months. “Even so, I get tired and have difficulty walking,” he says. Due to this health problem, he retired a year and a half early because he was recommended to lead a quiet lifestyle. But it is not entirely possible, because another trial awaits him.

“In the PSOE they have cut off Ábalos's arm to prevent the issue from spilling over to them,” he says.

In the case of Ábalos' lawsuit, after the hearing held at the beginning of March in the Plaza de Castilla courts, in Madrid – a hearing attended by neither the former Minister of Transport nor Grau, but only his lawyers – it was clear that they would seat him on the bench, although he confirms to this newspaper that there is no date yet.

«I published a first article titled “Ábalos and Escorial Senator, the strange couple” at the end of April, saying that it was very strange for the minister to agree with a businessman who had companies in Ireland, Luxembourg and the Island of Malta. To a company in Zaragoza that no one knew to do million-dollar operations,” he recalls. But what led you to publish those articles? «What society asks is that we know where our tax money is going. What cannot be is that they squeeze us every time further and then the money is misappropriated,” he says.

And from there, they notified him of three lawsuits for the same articles that he published in various digital sources and which, as indicated in the resolution of the Provincial Court of Zaragoza dated March 27, to which this newspaper has had access, are compilations of information that appeared on other portals. But since necessity has the face of a heretic, faced with the demands, he chose to begin a serious investigation of everything that lay behind him to defend himself.

The beach bar

“The company is a beach bar,” he says. And he says that they have their headquarters in a rental office building in Zaragoza with no workers and hardly any activity. “There is a closed office with a plaque on the door,” he says.

When forced to respond to the lawsuit, “I immersed myself in the commercial registry, investigating and looking for the real owners of the companies.” But what was found was a chain of companies, some dependent on others and linked to others that created a network that is difficult to unravel. “There were some bifurcations of companies that depended on other companies and other companies,” he recalls. Something that has also been confirmed by the summary of the “Koldo case”

Regarding the contracts, he maintains that they also have numerous dark points, but remembers that “to give them an appearance of legality, a ministerial order is published.” Everything started from the Ministry of Transport and then jumped to the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and the health services of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

«The company is a beach bar. “I immersed myself in the commercial registry to investigate.”

Regarding the first contracts, with Puertos del Estado and with Adif, public companies in the portfolio of José Luis Ábalos, he insists that “the presidents of these organizations depended on him. He was the one who appointed them and proposed them to the Council of Ministers», he emphasizes.

The X of the plot

When reflecting on the role of the former “number two” of the PSOE, who was given 24 hours by the socialist party to renounce his membership as a deputy, but who instead has chosen to join the Mixed Group of Congress, he believes that to To determine the responsibilities behind this case we must aim higher.

«I did not know that Koldo existed nor that Aldama existed, what I was clear about was that the “X” was Ábalos. And now I am not clear, I think it is the PSOE and Pedro Sánchez.

Now, after the scandal broke out and in view of the events, he believes that the plot is taking the form of an iceberg, in which only the visible tip is known, but there is much more in the depths of the ocean to be discovered. “New entities and ministries have been emerging in the contracts, all of them from the PSOE,” says Grau.

The panorama, as we see it today, is not the real one, he thinks. The retired lawyer considers that «Ábalos was a “big shot” of socialism. I don't think he was the thinking man to design this operation. He believes that we must aim higher, since little by little the implication at other levels has become known. Regarding the way in which he has handled this scandal since Ferraz and the actions of socialism regarding the former leader of the party, he believes that everything indicates that “in the PSOE they have cut off Ábalos's arm to prevent the issue from spilling over to them.”

«Justice is a steamroller: it takes a while to start, but when it does, there is no one to stop it»

And about the role of Koldo García, his former personal advisor, who held positions in the governing council of State Ports, where the first contract was signed, and also positions in Renfe Mercancías, two companies dependent on the ministry of which José Luis Ábalos was head , it is clear. “With Koldo what they are trying to make out is that the assistant was the boss, but he is an advisor with little training, which the school graduate will hardly have.” Although he insists that he wants to express himself “with all my respect for him, because all jobs are equally worthy,” he insists that he was only the minister's driver and bodyguard. “But Ábalos is linked to the PSOE,” he emphasizes.

He stays informed of the details of the case through the media and follows the press daily. Regarding a possible pact of silence sealed between the leadership of the PSOE and Ábalos to avoid harm, not only does he not rule it out, but he states forcefully: “I believe it.”

The legal battle

When asked if there is any political motivation behind his actions, if he is a member of any party or if he has any ideological sympathies with any formation of the opposition to Pedro Sánchez, he responds in a calm tone and without taking the hint: “I have no connection with no political party. “What happens is that I already had to defend myself against the lawsuits.” And he once again boasts about his typical Aragonese character and his stubbornness.

After investigating, he took action. “I saw that there were a number of irregularities and that this was a setup.” For this reason, he filed a first complaint with the Zaragoza provincial prosecutor's office, which filed it. He also took it to the Court of Accounts where, he claims, the presentation was left in the hands of a counselor appointed at the proposal of the Socialist Party who freed him from economic and accounting responsibility. Later, he filed a complaint before the Supreme Court, when he believed that Ábalos was the main person responsible for these contracts.

«What society asks is that we know where our tax money is going»

“I had double jurisdiction as a deputy and as a minister,” he recalls. Grau registered the complaint, but ran into another wall: the high court rejected it, alleging that there was special emergency legislation due to the state of alarm as a result of the pandemic, which supported skipping hiring procedures.

He didn't give in. He knocked on many doors that were closed to him, but then he decided to make the leap to Europe. There he addressed various organizations and institutions related to the fight against fraud because “what we cannot do is receive funds from the European Union and then misappropriate them. The people, the European citizens, are in solidarity with other countries in the Union, but they do not want to be robbed, speaking frankly.

The German Monika Hohlmeierthe president of the budget control commission of the European chamber, responded to his complaint. The lawyers who work in his department called him by phone and provided him with email addresses to send the documentation he had and warned him that it was a long process. “I am convinced that they have pushed for this to be investigated in Spain.” But in other instances, such as the European Anti-Fraud Office, where he sent his first complaint, they told him they could not investigate because the contracts had been paid for with national funds. “I think they were lied to from Spain,” he concludes.

Regarding the fact that there are no political officials investigated in the case being investigated by the National Court, he is hopeful. “I've been doing this for years,” he says, while expressing his confidence that everything will come to light, down to the last person responsible for the awards of 53 million euros of public money in the middle of the pandemic. «Justice is like a steamroller, which takes time to start, but when it gets going there is no one to stop it. “The judicial system is going to take it forward.” Of course, he warns: we must go to the end and define all responsibilities regarding these suspicious contracts. “Let him not be left alone in Koldo and Aldama and in four losers” and he says he trusts that the Spanish courts will go to the last consequences to clarify the responsibilities of the “Koldo case” scandal.