Neither defendants nor lawyers of both parties dare to predict where the court that has been serving for more than a year has tried 21 former senior officers of the Board in the ERE case, whose ruling will take more than 6 months before the complexity of a process collected in 690 videos of the 152 sessions.
The most senior lawyers say they can not see where the judges of the First Section of the Audiencia of Seville Pilar Llorente, Encarnación Gómez and the president and rapporteur of the Juan Antonio Calle judgment will be inclined for their reaction to the trial. to the testimonies of the accused, the more than 120 witnesses and the nine experts who for six weeks opposed opposing doctrinal interpretations.
The bets range from a general acquittal; a generic acquittal of the crime of embezzlement, not having judged what amounts have been distracted and what aid (in fact one of the accusations, Clean Hands, withdrew this crime); and a general conviction for prevarication, or selective of the excargos of Employment.
The big question is, in case of conviction, "where will the court" the court of responsibility in designing a "specific procedure" used for a decade to give social and labor assistance to companies in crisis arbitrarily and bypassing controls and , according to the accusations, facilitating that they were for ends other than those foreseen, analyzed in the separate pieces of each aid.
To support the prevarication, the court must admit the theses of the experts of the State Intervention (IGAE), defended by the Prosecutor's Office and the accusations, that the designed system was illegal, because the funding transfers that the Employment Council sent to the public agency IDEA to pay the aid could not be used for that, according to the Law of Accompaniment to the budgets of 2002.
The problem is that the Law of Budgets of that year and the successive collected transfers of financing of Employment to IDEA for that specific purpose and what appears in a law, argue the defenses, can not be illegal, besides that the laws approve them Parliament and not the members of the Government.
The accusations, based on the experts of the IGAE, maintain that an accounting and administrative mechanism was created that prevented the parliamentarians and auditors from knowing the so-called "specific procedure", since the objective is precisely that it was "opaque" and escaped the controls .
In spite of everything there were alerts of the Intervention of IDEA and of the General Comptroller of the Board, Manuel Gómez, one of the defendants together with the heads of the Treasury -among them the former Andalusian President José Antonio Griñán- and Innovation and the public agency, that his reports arrived warning of irregularities.
Some notices that for the prosecutor and the accusation of the PP-A were not strong enough to exculpate the comptroller for having done his duty (only Manos Limpias withdrew all accusations against him, as well as against the former president Manuel Chaves and the former chief of the Francisco del Río Law Office).
If the court is of the opinion that the financial controller did not do enough and believes that his notices should have promoted measures and reached the Employment, Innovation, Finance and IDEA directors, "the court" of a hypothetical sentence will go beyond the responsible for Employment.
If you assume the thesis of the defenses that without the red alert of the public prosecutor did not have to act, could limit the responsibility to those responsible for Employment, and even absolve them also if you do not see the system of granting and payment of aid because it came in the budgets.
All the accused are accused of prevarication, an offense for which they face ten years of disqualification, although 15 – among them Griñán and the ex-advisors José Antonio Viera, Antonio Fernández, Carmen Martínez Aguayo and Francisco Vallejo – are also embezzling, that the Prosecutor's Office and the PP-A request between six and eight years in prison and another twenty years of disqualification.
In the ERE trial there has been much talk of Administrative Law, budgeting and accounting, the internal functioning of the Andalusian Government and Parliament and, despite the public opinion's belief, the conviction or acquittal of the 21 defendants will be based on whether they used an illegal procedure or avoided their responsibility "in vigilando".
They are not judged for having appropriated public money or for diverting funds from the Board for the illegal financing of the PSOE.
Neither because the alleged arbitrary distribution of 680 million euros between 2001 and 2009 (the Prosecutor's Office in its final report removed one year of fraud, 61 million and one accused) served to weave a clientelistic network destined to keep the Andalusian Government at a PSOE that is about to lose it, by the polls, after 36 years in power, the same year in which two decades of Andalusian socialism have been judged.