Spain's National Audience has started an investigation against Gonzalo Boye, a lawyer known for his work defending Carles Puigdemont and Quim Torra. According to court sources, instructing judge María Tardón has charged him with alleged money laundering and summonsed him to testify this Wednesday, 23rd October, at 12pm local time, alongside two other people. Firstly, Spanish police searched his residence in Villaviciosa de Odón, near Madrid. Then they went to search his office in the Spanish capital itself.
The case is apparently unrelated to another search by Spanish police today, of the Catalan Association of Municipalities in Barcelona.
Spanish police started their search of Boye's house first thing this Monday. At the same time, they searched two further property in the region, belonging to two alleged front men, as part of an investigation over money laundering linked to drug trafficking, according to police sources. Boye previously represented Sito Miñanco, an important Galician drug trafficker.
According to the police sources, Boye was present during the search. The two alleged front men were also in attendance at the other searches. Details of the case are currently under seal.
Agents of the UDEF (Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit) led the operation. The investigation is apparently entirely unrelated to Boye's work defending Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont. The searches come eight days before Puigdemont is to appear before a Belgian court for the first hearing on the new European Arrest Warrant he faces.
The judge in the case, María Tardón, last year took the seat left empty on the court by the departure of Carmen Lamela, the judge who had started the investigation into pro-independence civil and political leaders in 2017. She put her career as a judge on pause for four years in 1999 to stand as an independent candidate on PP's list for Madrid City Council. After being elected as part of the PP absolute majority, she was chosen as third-deputy mayor, responsible for the areas of municipal police, civil protection and social attention under mayor José María Álvarez del Manzano.