Espejel, ‘dear Concha’, and a professor who maneuvered with Ignacio González


After almost two years with a third of its members with the expired mandate, the Government and the PP have agreed this Thursday to renew the four magistrates of the Constitutional Court who were still in the extension since November 2019. The decision is part of a global pact which also includes updating the Court of Accounts, the Ombudsman and the Data Protection Agency. The names agreed by the Executive and the main opposition party for the court of guarantees include Concepción Espejel, Enrique Arnaldo, Juan Ramón Sáez Valcárcel and Inmaculada Montalbán.


The judges friends of the PP, who ascend by the PP and will judge the PP

The judges friends of the PP, who ascend by the PP and will judge the PP

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Conception Espejel (Madrid, 1959). President of the criminal chamber of the National Court of May 2017. Concepción Espejel is considered a magistrate close to the Popular Party to such an extent that she had to deviate from various processes related to the corrupt Gürtel plot. The National Court made the decision at the end of 2015 when it was going to form the court that was going to judge the piece of the case baptized as ‘Epoch I’ together with Enrique López, currently Minister of Justice in the Madrid government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso. It was also later removed from the court that judged the ‘box B’ of the Popular Party.

Espejel has been a magistrate since 1983 and went through the courts of Vinaroz, Reus and Valls before entering the Provincial Court of Tarragona. He went on to preside over the Guadalajara Hearing in 1999 after passing through that of Segovia and in 2008 he entered the General Council of the Judiciary as a member at the proposal of the Popular Party in the Senate. Three years after her return to the Audiencia Nacional, she was appointed president of the criminal chamber. It was in 2014 when María Dolores de Cospedal pronounced the phrase that made her affinity with the magistrate clear: the former minister referred to her as “dear Concha” when she imposed the Cross of San Raimundo de Peñafort on her.

Enrique Arnaldo Alcubilla (Madrid, 1957). Professor of Constitutional Law at the Rey Juan Carlos University, member of the legal body of the Cortes Generales and lawyer. He is one of the lawyers proposed by the PP to fill one of the four vacancies in the court of guarantees. His name is closely linked to the conservatives who proposed him in 1996 to be a member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), where he was until 2001. After his departure from the governing body of judges, he set up the law firm, where he is a lawyer. partner specialized in public, constitutional and administrative law.

From that position he has worked for PP politicians and has used his contacts to maneuver in his favor. According to the wiretapping of the Lezo case, Arnaldo Alcubilla participated in the maneuvers to place judges and related prosecutors that would favor the exoneration of the former president of the Community of Madrid Ignacio González in the case of the alleged gift of a luxury penthouse in the Malaga town from Estepona. This case was archived in July of last year. In the wiretaps intercepted by the Civil Guard, Arnaldo Alcubilla promises González to take some steps to put a “good” attorney general.

In the CGPJ he coincided with Enrique López, current Minister of Justice of the Community of Madrid, when he arrived as a lawyer. Years later he defended him in the case that López faced for driving his motorcycle drunk and that led to his conviction and his departure from the Constitutional Court. Although he was finally acquitted, Arnaldo Alcubilla was also investigated in the Palma Arena case as a suspect of helping the former president of the Balearic Islands Jaume Matas, of the PP, to launder money by simulating his hiring in his firm.

Juan Ramón Sáez Valcárcel (Madrid, 1957). The progressive and eternal judge aspiring to the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court will finally be in the Constitutional Court. A magistrate for more than 35 years, Sáez went through the courts of San Roque and Madrid before becoming a member of the General Council of the Judiciary in 1996 to 2001 at the proposal of Izquierda Unida. Already in 2007 he joined the criminal court of the National Court where he has been a speaker of several relevant judgments: the acquittal of Josep Lluís Trapero, the acquittal of the accused of the assault on Parliament 2011, the conviction for the pyramid scheme of Philatelic Forum, condemns Francisco Granados for the blow of the Punic plot or the acquittal of the 40 accused of belong to Segi. One of his last sentences has imposed 46 years in prison on Soledad Iparragirre ‘Anboto’ from ETA for a booby-trapped bomb in Escoriaza in 1987.

Considered a markedly progressive profile, Sáez has tried twice without success to enter the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court. The first time was in 2014 when Judge Ana Ferrer became the first woman to access the second chamber of the Supreme Court. The second unsuccessful attempt came at the end of 2019 when he presented himself to fill the position left by the also progressive Alberto Jorge, finally awarded to Leopoldo Puente.

Immaculate Montalbán (Granada, 1959). Magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia after serving in several courts in Granada, she was a member of the General Council of the Judiciary between 2008 and 2013. Member of Judges for Democracy, she is an expert in gender equality. She has been president of the Observatory against Domestic and Gender Violence of the CGPJ. His name also sounded in the pools for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary in one of its first failed attempts since 2018. In 2020 condemned the Junta de Andalucía for “absolutely sacrificing” the right to strike of their toilets on the eve of the state of alarm.

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