Le Petit Nicolas was a small child born from the brain of René Goscinny before his pencil gave birth to the adventures of Asterix and Obelix against the Romans. A French boy who, through the prism of innocence typical of his age, recounted his adventures ruining the photo in the school yearbook, spoiling a magic number or driving his teacher mad at school. More than half a century after his arrival on paper, another young man took his nickname, but giving a twist to the concept of mischief: Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias, known as ‘Little Nicolás’, returns this Monday to the dock accused of having a group of police officers and civil guards at his service to obtain information on car license plates after being sentenced three times for posing as a government agent or envoy of the Royal House without any sentence having explained who opened doors for him than the rest of the citizens usually find them closed.
“Little Nicolás” alleges a “megalomaniac-type disorder” to show that he is not impeachable in his trial for slander against the CNI
In this case, the Prosecutor’s Office asks for him nine years and nine months in prison, and two agents of the Madrid Municipal Police, a civil guard assigned to the Royal House and even Emilio García Grande, then coordinator of Emergencies of the City Council, will be tried with him. From the capital. All are accused of entering police databases to obtain information on car license plates requested by the young man throughout 2014. Some had a WhatsApp group with him called “Department of Homeland Security.”
It was the great era of Francisco Nicolás Gómez. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, he dedicated himself to contacting the license plate owners to make them believe that he had good contacts and that he could help them, for example, with their legal problems. Two municipal police officers helped him obtain the information and, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, later collected part of the money that the young man obtained from the businessmen. He also asked a civil guard for help to obtain information about a car with a license plate “reserved from the Secretary of State.” García Grande, at that time a high-ranking City Council official headed by Ana Botella, helped him learn that he was not from any counter-surveillance service of the consistory.
A look at his three previous convictions reveals that, at that time, the young Francisco Nicolás Gómez was involved in an intense activity posing as an agent and representative of the Government or the Royal House before all kinds of people. That year 2014, according to the Court of Madrid, the young man maintained “relations with important businessmen, politicians and authorities” in “circumstances not yet clarified.”
In the first weeks of October of that year, for example, “Little Nicolás” was walking around Madrid in high-end cars with a chauffeur using police lights and posing as an agent of the Vice-Presidency of the Government and, even, of the National Center Intelligence. Those days he offered his services to a businessman to help him in an economic operation. That operation cost him two months ago a still appealable sentence of three years and five months in prison for posing as a spy and for falsifying documentation.
According to the Justice, posing as a CNI agent in front of a businessman, taking him around Madrid in an Audi A6 with police lights and trying to get him to get 25,000 euros in cash from the ATM was not his greatest feat of that year. A few months earlier, in the summer of 2014, he had set up a similar device to pose as a representative of the Royal House and organize a false trip for Juan Carlos de Borbón. And in that case, the Justice also appreciated that the young man “had been introduced into certain relevant circles, both political, as well as State activity itself, as well as business.”
In that case, he got four high-end cars to leave the Paseo de La Habana in Madrid with two escorts: a municipal police officer from Madrid and a police officer from the Toledo town of Torrijos. They left for the Galician town of Ribadeo but not before explaining to the Municipal Police and the Yacht Club that the delegation was going to arrive. The objective was to sit at the table with Jorge Cosmen, president of the transport company Alsa, posing as a liaison between the Royal House and the Vice Presidency of the Government, a position that does not exist. Three more years in jail for him. Another of his pranks with criminal consequences took place in 2012, when he falsified an ID so that a friend of his could do the selectivity for him. One more year and nine months in prison.
Two diagnosed disorders: “I wanted to throw myself the ratatouille”
The story of Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias jumped to the media shortly after his arrest in 2014, including a nickname. A story of false CNI plates, businessmen in trouble, confidential databases and important people of a young man who, moreover, was irresistible to the microphones due to the centrifugal force of his statements. Advisor to Mayor Ana Botella, he had private conversations with businessman Javier de la Rosa and the then president of Madrid businessmen, Arturo Fernández, taking a nap on the sofa in the young man’s chalet in one of the most exclusive areas of Madrid.
The stories of Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias seemed to have no end until they had a beginning. During one of his trials, the young man stated: “I wanted to give myself the money, to feel powerful.” In that same plenary, the forensics spoke of a personality disorder with narcissistic characteristics and another adaptive one with anxious-depressive symptoms. “The personality disorder begins in the adolescent stage, with very marked narcissistic traits, especially marked in the social environment,” said one of them. “It seems that he was a child with low self-esteem, who needed a lot of praise and to feel important, who struggled to reach a social level,” explained another.
The doctors then explained to the Madrid Court that the circumstances that aggravated this disorder were precisely his encounters with the jet-setters with whom he so longed to rub shoulders. “The appearance of important events, the contact with personalities from the political world, the role that he assumed, that he is given a secretary by a political party and an office… That the environment makes him believe that he is special since he is in situations that do not correspond to a person of their age and that aggravates these narcissistic traits and crystallizes their predisposition to suffer from this disorder”, they explained.
The result was the recognition of two disorders that did not exempt him from being legally responsible for his actions but that generated a situation that “conditioned his perception of reality, slightly limiting his cognitive faculties.”
Currently the public presence of Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias, who is already 30 years old, is not what it was. There are no longer bombshell interviews with a cascade of headlines that rivaled the revelations of a loose-tongued retired CNI agent. There are also no stellar appearances in large public events, such as when he appeared at the Madrid Community Day events on May 2, 2016 and attracted more attention than the then regional president, Cristina Cifuentes.
The ‘B-side’ of what the investigators dubbed the ‘Nicolay case’ follows another path, closer to what would later be known as the ‘Tandem case’ or the Villarejo case. Recently, the retired commissioner, his wife and a journalist have been acquitted of the accusation of illegally recording a meeting between police officers and CNI agents on the cause of the young Gómez Iglesias. But before that acquittal, which the Prosecutor’s Office will not appeal, behind the scenes of this investigation, both some activities of the police political brigade and the stabbings between commissioners began to emerge. It was in one of the interrogations of one of the multiple pieces of the Pequeño Nicolás case where Villarejo, for example, gave details of ‘Operation Catalonia’.