Security footage contradicts ex-Madrid premier’s version of hit-and-run incident

Esperanza Aguirre spent less than five minutes with police officers, not between 15 and 20

Esperanza Aguirre arriving by car at the Madrid regional assembly.
Esperanza Aguirre arriving by car at the Madrid regional assembly.Luis Sevillano

She either lost all track of time, or failed to tell the truth.

An investigation into a hit-and-run case involving Esperanza Aguirre, the former premier of the Madrid region and head of the Madrid branch of the Popular Party (PP), shows a different version of events from the account she gave to the media.

Aguirre made headlines in early April after illegally parking her car in the middle of Madrid’s main thoroughfare, the Gran Vía, to withdraw money from a nearby ATM, driving off while traffic officers were attempting to fine her, knocking down one of their scooters in the process. She was then pursued by police all the way to her nearby house, and refused to come out of her property to collect notice of the fine.

Aguirre claimed that she was getting purposely detained beyond all reasonable limits because of her celebrity status

Although she claimed that police officers had held her “between 15 and 20 minutes,” prompting her decision to drive away from the scene, court proceedings, to which EL PAÍS has had access, state that the actual period of time was less than five minutes.

Aguirre also claimed that she was being detained on purpose, beyond all reasonable limits, because of her celebrity status, and that the police officers wanted passersby to see her getting fined. She said that she showed them all the necessary ID, but still they would not let her go.

But a report ordered by the judge in charge of the case, based on video footage from two security cameras in the area, shows the exact period of time that Aguirre remained on the spot before suddenly driving off in her white Toyota, though not before knocking down one of the officer’s motor scooters, which had been positioned to block her path.

The footage shows that Aguirre’s car entered the bus lane on Gran Vía “at 4.09pm” and that two officers had an exchange with the driver until 4.13pm, when the car drove away.

According to the proceedings, as one officer filled out the fine, Aguirre returned from the ATM and approached the officer, telling him the car had not been there for long. The officer argued that it had been there for quite some time. Aguirre then handed over the documents she was asked for, but found that she was missing some. That is when she said: “So, a little fine and a little action, eh? You’re going after me because I’m famous. You’ve got the license plate, so fine the car!”

The investigation has just begun, but plaintiffs have already expressed their dissent with the judge’s intention of treating the incident as a minor offense.

“If she had been a regular citizen, she would have ended up in handcuffs and be facing a fully fledged criminal trial right now,” said several legal sources.

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