The MEP for the Balearics, Rosa Estaràs, who was vice-president in the Partido Popular government of Jaume Matas between 2003 and 2007, has been giving evidence as a witness in the Nóos trial.
Estaràs told the Palma court today that contracting the Instituto Nóos was a "priority" as it would lead directly to projects linked to the Royal Family. "There were issues which were priorities for the president (Matas) and in which he involved himself one hundred per cent, especially if they were to do with sport and the cycling team."
Estaràs disassociated herself from this, adding that if there was delegation from Matas she didn't know of any irregularities. "No one told me anything." She recalled that the Balearic Islands Forum (sports forum), for which Nóos was to receive 2.3 million euros from the government for its organisation, was "not a subject for discussion".
Regarding the Fundación Illesport (part of the tourism and sports ministry), of which she was the patron and which contracted Nóos, she said that she never attended any meetings and nor were they called. Of minutes of meetings which indicated that she was in attendance, she said that it was not true that she was there. "All of this was dependent on the ministry of the presidency, closely linked to the president. It was not my area nor my responsibility. I never knew about the subject."
In the case of other records which she signed, she said that she understood that all documents which came from the president had passed the controls. Nevertheless, she noted, "I obviously didn't have to sign them". "All documents from the presidency which the vice-president signed were initialled through the delegation of signature. This was something generic for any matter."
The anti-corruption prosecutor maintains that the trust of the Illesport never met and never took any decision in spite of records suggesting that members had met, debated points of order and taken decisions. "Absolutely all of them are made up."
Pedro Horrach, the prosecutor, suggested that this had been a "charade orchestrated by Matas with the purpose of feigning that it was this body which took the decisions".
"(These were) decisions - the sole purpose of which was to benefit financially specific individuals - which deliberately ignored the utility and public interest that should guide any administrative action."
Reacting to Estaràs's testimony, Laura Camargo of Podemos called for her to resign as MEP as she had acknowledged "her political responsibility in the Nóos case". "She was vice-president in the government of the highly corrupt Jaume Matas," said Camargo and referred to her having signed minutes of meetings of the Fundación Illesport, knowing that they hadn't taken place. "For Podemos it is a clear example of political responsibility or, it would be better to say, irresponsibility."
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