Dolores Delgado’s tumultuous tenure as Attorney General

Dolores Delgado decided this Tuesday, due to health reasons, to end her two-and-a-half-year term at the head of the State Attorney General’s Office. A short period filled with controversy, but marked above all by fierce opposition from conservative prosecutors, who stepped up their assault against him with tough statements as he recovered from back surgery that has now left office.

Delgado joined the Attorney General’s Office in February 2020, following the signing of the government agreement between the PSOE and United We Can. On the same day, the rights race against him and his nomination began. The PP and Vox appealed to the Supreme Court for the appointment of a prosecutor, as they believed that he could not perform this function, given that he had previously served as the Minister of Justice and previously fought in the ranks of the PSOE.

A year and a half later, the Supreme Court not only rejected these appeals. In separate proposals published in November, he reprimanded the two formations for trying to carry out, without legitimizing it, “popular action of a political nature” to challenge government appointments and acts. The main decision of the court was supported by two out of seven judges.

However, the main opposition came from the prosecutor’s office itself. The Conservative and Majority Attorneys Association (AF) issued a statement opposing his appointment even before his appointment. On January 13, when Pedro Sánchez announced that he would propose to Delgado, this association expressed its “surprise” at the news and its “discomfort and concern at the lack of image, independence and impartiality conveyed.”

In the fall of the following year, the conservative association began to tighten its tone against the prosecutor as a result of a report in which his “number two”, the lieutenant of the supreme prosecutor, Luis Navajas, called for the dismissal of twenty complaints against the government. For managing health emergencies due to the coronavirus. Navajas testified that two fellow high court prosecutors were “ideologically tainted” and tried to “influence” him on how to handle the complaints. The AF felt that this brought the fiscal career into “the greatest disrepute in forty years” and they asked Delgado to break his “complicit silence” and act against him.

Just two months after that announcement, the prosecutors’ association called for Delgado’s resignation for the first time. In a statement, he found the attorney general unfit because of his political background and his “irregular and sectarian actions.” The group understood that their decisions had “seriously damaged the prestige of the Public Prosecution Service” and that their continued tenure was “incompatible with the impartiality and constitutional principles that govern” the institution.

In this text, the association did not mention it directly, but the statement came a few days after the prosecutor’s office defended Delgado’s impartiality in the decision made a year earlier in the Fiscal Council, removing Ignacio Stampa from the anti-corruption, two prosecutors. In charge of the Villarejo case. Prosecutors filed a career-damaging asset suit that week, accusing Delgado of “personal and vested interest” in the handling of the case, which contained “hints” of “his sentimental partner’s involvement.” , Baltasar Garzón, who defended several investigated.

In a statement, the conservative association demanded that the prosecutor explain these “alleged maneuvers” in “great detail” and the Professional and Independent Association of Prosecutors (APIF), in turn, asked him to describe them as “of the utmost seriousness” and “presumably” fraught with violations.

Delgado has always insisted that he followed the criteria of the Fiscal Council, where he was not supported by the five members of the conservative association with which he is associated, nor by the four members of the Progressive Union of Prosecutors (UPF). which came.Attorney General. At the time, prosecutor Vox was accused of conspiring with Pablo Iglesia and Podemo, who is carrying out a popular accusation in the case of the dark business of the commissioner and other members of the police leadership. Due to these facts, the investigation against Stampa was finally archived.

A former prosecutor in the Villarejo case accuses Delgado and his team of artificially delaying the investigation that ended in the case and hiding the outcome from the Fiscal Council to prevent him from getting the support he needed to win office. He was detained in the intermediate anti-corruption department. The State Attorney General’s Office defends the need for additional procedures, which it has ordered from the Madrid prosecutor who was in charge of the case.

Dolores Delgado’s senior prosecutorial appointments have been the subject of constant controversy since she took over the Ministry of Justice to head the Public Ministry. Resurfacing in this section is the conservative Association of Prosecutors, which has repeatedly denounced Delgado for allegedly benefiting from his former group, the UPF, in appointments to the prosecution leadership.

For example, in December 2020, the five members that this association then had in the Fiscal Council abstained when it proposed Juan Ignacio Campos as Lieutenant Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, the only one who applied for the position. According to them, the reason is not the candidate himself, but the fact that he is a favorite in some media outlets.

The AF has gone from criticizing some of these appointments to taking them to court, in some cases successfully. In April of this year, the Supreme Court revoked the appointment of Eduardo Esteban as juvenile prosecutor and ordered a retrial, finding that Delgado was not sufficiently motivated in his decision. Less than two months ago, Delgado reappointed Esteban to the post, despite the Supreme Court overturning it. This decision angered the conservative association, which accused the Attorney General of violating the sentence.

The Attorney General experienced another difficult moment at the head of the institution half a year ago, when the PSOE sent an amendment to the Congress during the review of the reform of the bankruptcy law, by which it intended to change the admissions in which the prosecutor’s office is bound. To inform the government about the ongoing investigation. Half of the Supreme Court’s prosecutors wrote to Delgado to request the suspension of the amendment, saying it represented a “significant violation of the institution’s autonomy and independence.” In this amendment, the Socialists included a section that would have provided the prosecutor with a seat on the Supreme Court after leaving office.

The letter against him was signed by the heavyweights of the State Ministry: prosecutors Javier Zaragoza, Jaime Moreno and Fidel Cadena, computer crime prosecutor Elvira Tejada or former anti-corruption prosecutor Manuel Mox and others. It was also signed by two former Attorney Generals: Consuelo Madrigal and María José Segarra. The PSOE eventually withdrew the controversial amendment.

While Delgado recovered from the back surgery he underwent last April, the UPF, the association he belonged to, collapsed in the Fiscal Council elections, which gave an absolute majority to the conservative AF and in which the minority and very. APIF, which is critical of the Attorney General, has received a seat on this advisory body for the first time.

Thus, the prosecutor presided over an openly hostile fiscal council with an overwhelming majority of conservative prosecutors, the same prosecutors who had opposed him head-on since taking over the institution. The opinion of the Fiscal Council is not binding on the recommendation of the appointment, but the 1983 rules governing its activities specify that it must be “heard in respect of appointments to various posts”.

During the mandate of Dolores Delgado, the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office investigated a number of important cases. In particular, the case concerning the company of the parents of the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, the case of the mask commissioners of the City Council of Madrid or the contract with the community of Madrid, for which the brother of Isabel Díaz Ayuso was charged. Commission. For this latest case, anti-corruption, which is hierarchically dependent on Delgado, argued with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which today continues to investigate the possible embezzlement of EU funds.

However, the most pressing case that has passed through the desks of the Public Ministry at this point is the case of the opaque provenance of the property of Juan Carlos I, a triple investigation that the prosecutor’s office opened in March of this year, given that the alleged crime was established or committed when the state’s then The commander enjoyed immunity.

The investigation began more than two years ago in three separate branches: the millionaires’ commissions that the king emeritus would receive for his intervention in the awarding of the AVE works to Mecca, the use of undeclared funds of a Mexican millionaire, revealed by elDiario. .es and, finally, his relationship with several millions hidden on the island of Jersey. The prosecutor’s office then noted that it “discovered fees defrauded by the fraud kingpin in 2008 and 2012, all established except for 2012, when he was also protected by immunity.” But he accepted the regulations that the Emeritus King made before the Ministry of Finance, even though he had been informed that they were investigating him.

Due to health problems, Dolores Delgado is ending a turbulent term beset by a hostile opposition that has also grown since her last election result due to her health problems. Alvaro García Ortiz, his “number two” until now and the replacement that the government envisioned for the position, will have to build his leadership in a fireproof scenario. As an appetizer, the PP has already questioned his “independence” for his participation in the PSOE conference three years ago.

Source: El Diario





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