Barcelona mayor to testify in investigation over alleged irregular subsidies
Separate case closed last year but new complaint against Ada Colau will see her give testimony on March 4
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has been called to give testimony on March 4 regarding an investigation opened against her for the alleged awarding of irregular subsidies.
A Barcelona court has accepted a complaint from the Association for Transparency and Democratic Quality (ATCD) filed in December 2021 and has called the mayor to answer over possible crimes of recruitment fraud, embezzlement of public funds, improper peddling of influence, and breach of official duty.
In March 2021, a separate case was opened against Colau for very similar alleged crimes, but this was later closed in July when no evidence of criminality was found. That case derived from a complaint from a different association, Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution.
The initial complaint accused the mayor of awarding grants outside of public procurement procedures to social entities such as the DESC Observatory who work on preserving social rights, the PAH platform that focuses on housing issues, the Alliance against Energy Poverty, and Engineering Without Borders.
When those complaints were accepted in March 2021, Colau denied there was a cause and said she would collaborate with authorities. The mayor added it is "indisputable" that these entities do "essential" work in the city. "We have nothing to hide," she said at the time.
In addition to Colau, the complaint also denouncesde fourth deputy mayor of the Barcelona city council, Laura Pérez, former councillors from the same Barcelona en Comú party Gala Pin and Laia Ortiz, and the director of the DESC Observatory, Irene Escorihuela. Colau had worked at the DESC before becoming mayor.