January 27, 2021

Anti-corruption calls for eight years in jail for former PP councilor Alfredo Prada for the City of Justice of Aguirre


The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requests that the former Minister of Justice and the Interior of the Community of Madrid Alfredo Prada be sentenced to eight years in prison for the alleged irregularities committed in various contracts of the Pharaonic project of the Campus of Justice, which was not completed. In its indictment, the Public Ministry also requests six-year prison sentences for five other people related to the project. Among them, the commissioner Andrés Gómez Gordo, who was director of Security of the enclosure between 2007 and 2009, and who is a practicing police officer closely linked to the Popular Party. He attributes crimes of prevarication, embezzlement of public funds and fraud to the Public Administration to all of them.

350 million for Esperanza Aguirre's failed dream: the Justice Campus now being investigated by the courts

350 million for Esperanza Aguirre’s failed dream: the Justice Campus now being investigated by the courts

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The same sentence to six years in prison requests Anti-Corruption for Isabelino Baños, architect and technical general director of the project; Mariano Sanz Piñar, technical deputy director; Alicio de las Heras, director of the financial area; and Felix José García de Castro, legal counsel. The Prosecutor’s Office accuses them of “arranging” contracts with “deliberate, generalized and repeated circumvention of the normative requirements and elementary principles of contracting”. “In this way, the successful tenderer was selected outside of the procedure and, on numerous occasions, prior to it,” the letter says. During the investigation, Judge José de la Mata detected cases in which the winning companies had drawn up the tender documents themselves.

The project began in 2004 under the regional presidency of Esperanza Aguirre, although the first ideas had emerged eight years earlier, when Alberto Ruiz Gallardón proposed to unify the judicial headquarters of the Community of Madrid. The summary focuses on the actions of the Ministry of Justice at the time of Alfredo Prada, who between 2005 and 2008 held the position of president and CEO of the company created to develop the project, of which only the urbanization works have been carried out and the access tunnels, as well as the Institute of Legal Medicine, “although unfinished and currently in a situation of abandonment, at least partially”.

Prada is one of Pablo Casado’s political godparents and it was his first election to preside over the office of the Popular Office, a body that Mariano Rajoy created within the strategy of applying more internal transparency after the Gürtel scandals and whose first president was Manuel Cobo. Prada was appointed to that position in the summer of 2018, when Casado was elected president of the party, and dismissed less than a year later, in March 2019, after transcending his indictment in this case.

Gómez Gordo, for his part, worked as the security officer for this project due to his links with Francisco Granados. Later, he was appointed general director of Documentation and Analysis of the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha when María Dolores de Cospedal was regional president, between 2011 and 2015. And from that year on, he returned to active service and dedicated himself to closely monitoring the driver Sergio Ríos, the mole of the political brigade in the vicinity of Luis Bárcenas that he had met years ago, when they both worked for Granados. Gómez Gordo is being investigated in the Kitchen operation, also in the National Court.

The Chamber of Accounts of Madrid has already warned of waste and corruption around this project in a 2018 report that has served as the basis for Judge De la Mata for his instruction. That lengthy document revealed that 355 million had been spent on a project that only managed to raise a building that remained half abandoned. The majority, in formalized contracts but also in modifications, extensions, compensation or expenses without a contract involved.

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