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Anti-corruption prosecutors are asking for a 15-year jail term and a ban on office holding for 33 years to be imposed on former Spanish interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, for the so-called "Kitchen case" of alleged espionage in 2013 and 2014, whose victim was Luis Bárcenas, the former treasurer of the then-governing People's Party (PP). The prosecution service is asking for the same penalty for the minister's number two, Francisco Martínez, and for the former head of the Spanish National Police, ex-commissioner Eugenio Pino, as the alleged leaders of Operation Kitchen. The three are accused of concealment, misappropriation of public funds and crimes against privacy. For former police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo in the same case, the prosecutors raise their demand to 19 years' jail.

The prosecutor's brief also demands prison sentences for four other defendants, all of them members of the police during the first PP government of Mariano Rajoy: the head of Internal Affairs, Marcelino Martín Blas, for whom 2 years and 6 months' jail and a 9 year ban are sought for concealment; commissioner Andrés Gómez Gordo, who faces a demand for 15 years and 6 months' prison and a 28-year ban for concealment, misappropriation of public funds and crimes against privacy; the former driver of the Bárcenas family, Sergio Ríos, who faces the same penalty for the same crimes, and finally, Enrique García Castaño, for whom the prosecutors request 12 years and 5 months and 15 days in prison, plus a ban from office for 13 years and 9 months.

48 and 41 years in prison

The specialist anti-corruption prosecutors have already sent the National Audience their provisional conclusions on this investigation, which derives from what is known as the Tandem case (or the Villarejo case), which is directed against eleven defendants, among them Fernández Díaz and Francisco Martínez. Among those investigated in the case but for whom a prosecution is not in the end sought are the former PP general secretary, María Dolores de Cospedal, and her husband, the businessman Ignacio López del Hierro, who were removed from the case by the judge, after several months of investigations and against the criteria of the public and private prosecutions in the case.

The private prosecutions, conducted by the PSOE and Podemos, had already submitted their own briefs in the case. The Socialists requested 48 years and 4 months in prison for the former interior minister, while Podemos asked for 41 years. For their part, the Bárcenas family have asked for more than 40 years in prison for the former holder of the interior portfolio. The case was one of those over which the reform of the crime of misuse of funds was awaited, to see what effect it might have. Another of the factors hovering over the case were the requests of the PSOE and Podemos to reopen the Kitchen case after El País revealed audio recordings of a conversation between María Dolores de Cospedal and the former commissioner Villarejo, in which she asked him to "stop the issue of the Bárcenas notebook", evidencing her dismay that the papers of the ex-treasurer of the People's Party were in the possession of journalists.

The National Audience judge investigating the Kitchen case, Manuel García Castelló, dismissed the indictment of Cospedal on November 30th, considering that maintaining the case against her depended in an "almost nuclear way on a few minutes of cut audio whose origin is unknown, as well as its circumstances and context". Nevertheless, the PSOE went to the court again, in a request backed by the public prosecutors and the Spanish government's solicitors.