The main crime in the investigation into the sale of medical supplies to the Madrid City Council is fraud. And the core of that crime lies in the existence of a hoax. A deception that, due to what has been investigated so far, could be in the condition in which the accused Medina and Luceño appeared: whether as usual sellers who take commission or benefactors who acted for free et amore given the circumstances.

A part of the testimony as a witness of Matilde García Duarte, general coordinator of the Mayor’s Office and right-hand man of José Luis Martínez Almeida, has dealt with this point. According to sources present in the statement, in her appearance before the judge she explained that the person who negotiated the sale with the defendants sent her an email in which she said that both had “renounced” the collection of commissions.

The statement contrasts with what actually happened. In the first of the three signed contracts, the one referring to the masks, the city council paid 6.9 million dollars. Most of it -almost 60%- corresponded to commissions: one million dollars for Luis Medina and three for Alberto Luceño.

The person who indicated the resignation to the commissions in an email was Elena Collado, a high-ranking official in the city council who, at the beginning of the pandemic, coordinated the purchase of medical supplies and contacts with potential sellers.

In her own statement as a witness, Collado herself said that she had not discussed with Medina or Luceño the existence or not of commissions in the prices that the council was going to pay. She specified that she understood that the efforts of both were carried out only to help in such a difficult health situation.

At the gates of the court, the lawyer for Más Madrid Nuria Zapico -who exercises the popular accusation- has indicated that the version of the two high-ranking officials of the city council does not fit.

The questioning has also focused on how much the mayor came to know about the matter. “Nothing”, according to the general coordinator. Matilde García has stated that she did not inform him that her cousin, Carlos Martínez Almeida, had called her to ask how to put Medina in contact with whoever she was in charge of buying medical supplies.

The witness explained that she considered it a minor matter at a time when hundreds of people died every day. The mayor, she has said, was then “on more important matters.”

The witness has added that when Medina called him, he did not realize that he was the son of the Duke of Feria and that he treated him as “one more”. She referred him to Collado because she was in charge of purchases, while her department only assumed donations.

Later, the negotiation between Collado and Luceño did not continue, although Collado sometimes sent him emails giving an account of how things were going. In one of those, at the beginning of the negotiations, it was where he was told that the two defendants had renounced charging commissions.

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