Former Spanish minister named as 'intermediary' in case of illegal pandemic commissions

José Luis Ábalos was suspended from Socialist party after refusing to resign as MP

José Luis Ábalos on Tuesday, when he refused to resign as MP
José Luis Ábalos on Tuesday, when he refused to resign as MP / Miquel Vera
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 29, 2024 12:25 PM

February 29, 2024 01:37 PM

The judge of Spain's National Court investigating the 'Koldo case', a case involving alleged illegal commissions in the purchase of face masks during the pandemic, has named former minister José Luis Ábalos as an "intermediary" in the operation.

The judge is investigating Koldo García, former advisor to Ábalos, and six others for participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, bribery, and influence peddling in the purchase of medical supplies during the pandemic. 

In 2020, the company under investigation, Soluciones de Gestión, secured eight public contracts for the supply of emergency health products through non-advertised negotiated procedures, with a total value of approximately €54 million. The company had zero sales before securing these contracts.

Now, the judge points out that Ábalos acted as an "intermediary" between the government of the Balearic Islands and Soluciones de Gestión to settle a dispute. 

"The observation of the communications and operational activities carried out by the acting unit have allowed us to conclude that the middlemen were José Luis Ábalos and Jacobo Pombo," the judge asserted. 

The magistrate points to a meeting between Koldo García and other people, including Ábalos, in a restaurant and several text messages that confirm this. 

Ábalos was suspended from the Socialist Party on Tuesday after refusing to give up his seat in the wake of the case.  

Although Ábalos is not under investigation and his name is not in the investigation, the Socialists say there is "political responsibility" and called on the minister to resign "immediately".