The Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) has asked the Provincial Court of Tenerife to correct the decision of the judge investigating the so-called ‘mediator case‘ and let him exercise the popular accusation without the PSOE, PP and Vox in the case that is followed against the former socialist deputy Juan Bernardo Fuentes Curbeloalias ‘Tito Berni’, as the alleged leader of an alleged plot that was dedicated to collecting bribes in exchange for political favors, and against the retired general of the Benemérita Francisco Espinosa.
In a letter, presented this Monday and to which Europa Press has had access, the association has stressed that “forcing” a unified accusation “is violating the legal system, making a professional association of members of the Civil Guard“, making the fundamental right to effective judicial protection “non-existent” and “depriving the AUGC of the possibility of exercising the fundamental right of association”.
The movement of the association takes place after at the beginning of the month the head of the Investigating Court Number 4 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Judge Ángela Lorenzo-Cáceres, confirmed her decision to reject the request of the political parties PP, PSOE and Vox, from the civil guards association itself and from the Organization of Water Users and Consumers (Aguaiuris) to exercise the accusation separately.
Now, the association has filed an appeal to annul the judge’s refusal, considering that the resolution she issued is contrary to the fundamental right to obtain effective judicial protection, that it lacks “motivation” and that it does not address the issues that the AUGC itself raised in its initial appeal.
The agents of the Benemérita have made the judge ugly that the order of April 4 that they are now appealing “does not contribute anything new in relation to the original order, appealed in reform.” Thus, they have criticized that the head of the court has wasted “the opportunity to motivate judicial decisions.”
A single lawyer “limits the right to defense”
In this new appeal, the AUGC has reiterated its opposition to agreeing on a “unified popular action” in this procedure in which the six popular accusations –PP, PSOE, Vox, Fuerza Canaria Unida Democrática, the Organization of Water Users and Consumers (Aguaiuris) and the AUGC itself– are all under the direction of a single lawyer.
“That it is under a single lawyer is not only absurd but also limits the right of defense and that the procedural parties can freely choose how and what means are the ones they consider most suitable to exercise the fundamental right of defense,” the association specified. at the same time that it has affected that the judge’s order “is contrary to the constitutional order.”
For the association of agents of the Benemérita “it is notorious” that four of the entities that intend to exercise the popular accusation are political parties. For this reason, he recalled that the very organic law that regulates the rights and duties of the members of the Civil Guard establishes that the agents “may not found or join political parties or unions or carry out political or union activities.”
In line, the AUGC has stressed that breaching or exceeding these legal limits could lead them to incur “very serious disciplinary cases” that could result in the cancellation of their registration in the Register of Professional Associations of members of the Benemérita.
Thus, the association has insisted that article 13 of the Code of Conduct for Civil Guard personnel obliges them to have a “political neutrality” that “extends to the ideological”. For this reason, he has also stressed that he could not exercise a “unified” popular accusation with Aguaiuris because this “has its own institutional and ideological configuration” with which they cannot be “identified” if they want to “preserve the inescapable obligation of political and ideological neutrality “.
Investigation pending testimonials
The AUGC’s appeal is one of the latest movements in what is now known as the ‘Mediator case’, where the alleged existence of a network headed by ‘Tito Berni’, his nephew, is being investigated Taishet Fuentes Gutierrezthe Canarian businessman Antonio Navarro Tacoronte and General Francisco Espinosa who would have dedicated himself to collecting bribes in exchange for political favors.
The plot would be made up of a criminal organization “formed mainly by three pillars and a clear link between all those investigated.” It would have “a perfectly structured and defined hierarchy, with a clear division of functions and dedicated to the commission of crimes related to corruption such as bribery and influence peddling.”
According to the investigators, the group pursued “an obvious lucrative purpose by obtaining economic enrichment as well as different personal benefits as a result of illegal actions.”
It is expected that on April 13 the judge will take a statement from two witnesses, the ex-lover of General Espinosa – who remains in prison – and a businessman who had a friendly relationship with the person being investigated.