December 1, 2020

The National Court proposes to try former PP deputies Arístegui and De la Serna for bribing officials in Algeria in exchange for contracts


The judge of the National Court José de la Mata proposes to try the former deputies of the PP Ramón Gómez de la Serna and Gustavo de Arístegui – the latter was also the ambassador of Spain in India – for allegedly leading a “criminal organization” to obtain public contracts in Algeria through the payment of gifts and commissions to authorities and officials of that country. The magistrate understands that the facts constitute crimes of corruption in international commercial transactions, bribery, money laundering and criminal organization or illicit association, according to a car dated Monday.

Arístegui and De la Serna: Commissions SA

Arístegui and De la Serna: Commissions SA

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In addition to the former politicians, Judge De la Mata also prosecutes two executives of the Elecnor company, Germán Junquera Palomares and Ramón López Lax, whom he places in the leadership of the operation. This company managed to win a tram and a desalination plant. It also proposes to try another 19 people who “were in charge of implementing the strategy agreed by the leaders, supervising the management of the companies and distributing the illicit funds obtained,” the magistrate says.

In his resolution, De la Mata explains that the investigation shows that the purpose of the established organization was twofold: on the one hand, “to obtain contracts in foreign countries by paying commissions and gifts to Algerian authorities and officials”; and, on the other, “illicitly enrich themselves with funds from the contract itself, setting up a whole structure of fictitious companies and false invoicing, and simulating the provision of services for the execution of the contract by shell companies.” “All this in accordance with a preconceived plan, projected in time with a long-term vision, ordered in accordance with the guidelines emanating from the top of the organization,” emphasizes the judge.

Among the defendants are also José Faya López, an employee of the Voltar Lassen office, and Borja de Arístegui Arroyo, the son of the former ambassador, who supported and collaborated with the former leaders of the PP, says the judge. Others followed the instructions of the late Cristóbal Tomé Becerra (Voltar Lassen’s external agent), as was the case with his brother José Luis Tomé Becerra, his son David Tomé Miller and José Félix González Noriega, a lawyer and friend of Gómez de la Serna.

Finally, according to the magistrate’s order, other defendants, such as businessmen Adolfo Suarez Lopetegui and Israel Suárez Hermoso de Mendoza, participated in the organization by contributing their fiduciary structures and acting as intermediaries to ensure the opacity of payments and serve as a barrier to the true beneficiaries of the operations.

All of them participated in the two corrupt commercial operations, both in Souk Tleta and Ourgla, for which the magistrate attributes to them “stability and permanence in the organization as well as persistence in the criminal objectives, which were not limited to a single operation but were prolonged and reiterated in time “.

From now on, the Central Investigative Court 5 gives the parties a period of 20 days to request the opening of an oral trial of this investigation by presenting the indictment or requesting the dismissal of the case.

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